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Sunderland AFC progresses solar farm plans

April 04 2024 - News Release News Editorial

English Championship football club Sunderland has furthered ambitions to install a solar farm at the Academy of Light – its training facilities and home of the youth system. 

Sunderland AFC progresses solar farm plans

Sunderland has brought multidisciplinary engineering consultancy Cundall on board as the new solar farm project partner, to support its planning application. If approved, the 40MW solar farm will be one of the largest in the UK, and will not only provide renewable electricity for the facility, but for the benefit of the wider community.

Cundall was founded in the north east of England, and have worked on numerous projects across designing and delivering sustainable solutions for the built environment. The consultancy has 26 offices worldwide, and has committed to delivering zero carbon design on all projects by 2030.

Previous projects include the Riverside Sunderland redevelopment, singer Ed Sheeran’s Mathematics world tour, and the All English Lawn Tennis Club Indoor Tennis Centre.

Sunderland initially unveiled the plans for the solar farm in its Sustainability Strategy, which was published in February last year. The Academy of Light solar development is a core part of the club’s strategy, which includes the goal of becoming energy self-sufficient from renewable resources by 2028.

Additionally, Sunderland’s strategy is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with the football club also focused on engaging with local and regional communities.

The club has also explored the idea of developing a ‘canopy solar farm’ above the car park surrounding its home ground, the Stadium of Light. Further energy could be produced from below the stadium, with the club collaborating with the local city council to investigate the opportunity to create a district heating system using the mine water from the disused mine on which the venue is built.

Elsewhere, Sunderland has addressed waste and water usage by progressing a number of initiatives. In the coming years, the club aims to harvest rainwater and eliminate, as far as possible, single-use plastics.

Image: JPS/CC BY-SA 3.0

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