The photovoltaic solar plant (USF) opened this Tuesday (06.05) morning changed the Mineirão in Belo Horizonte into an economic, environmental and socially sustainable ground. The match between Colombia and Greece on 14 June will be the first ever World Cup game played in a stadium with a solar plant in operation, using renewable energy.
The plan started being assembled in December 2012 and building works took place until May 2013. Then, the equipment was put in operation to be tested. The system was tested in compliance with requirements provided by the National Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL). The project was inspired by the Freiburg (Germany) and Bern (Switzerland) stadiums, as well as the grounds powered by solar energy built for the Euros. The plant’s installed capacity is of 1,600 megawatts-hour per year, enough to supply power to 1,200 households. The plant was built by the Minas Gerais State Electricity Company (CEMIG), in partnership with German bank kfW and Minas Arena, group that manages the Mineirão.
“The system is made of photovoltaic panels, with silicon cells that turn sunlight into electricity. In the case of the Mineirão, six thousand panels are connected to the stadium's roof", stated CEMIG’s Technology and Energy Alternatives Superintendent Alexandre Maia Bueno. “As it’s not possible to store all the energy, 10% of it will be used in powering the Mineirão and the rest will be transferred to consumers", added Bueno.
According to CEMIG, the solar plant at the Mineirão is the first investment of its type and at this scale in Brazil, as well as being the first solar power facility in operation in the country. Total investments reached R$ 15 million, 80% of which financed by the German bank. All panels were installed on the stadium’s roof and cover an area of 11.5 thousand m². The system cannot be seen by fans coming to the stadium, which complies with architecture requirements, as the ground is a public listed building.