Construction began on a new shade structure at Chase Field that will generate 75 KW of solar power upon completion in May, just in time to provide Arizona Diamondbacks fans with some much-needed shade for Phoenix�s hot summer months.

Chase Field�s new shade structure will generate 75 KW of power.
Image courtesy of HKS Inc.
Chase Field�s new shade structure will generate 75 KW of power.

Through a partnership between the Diamondbacks, Maricopa County Stadium District and Phoenix-based utility APS, the structure will cover 17,280 sq ft of the plaza near the ballpark�s western entrances and ticket booths. The Phoenix office of Dallas-based HKS Inc. is the architect for the project. Renewable Energy Contracting, a division of Phoenix-based Ironco Enterprises LLC, is the general contractor.

APS plans to use the solar facility, which will have a 20-year life span, as a technical demonstration project. It will include electric vehicle charging stations and test a battery storage system. �Behind the scenes, this will be a working laboratory,� says APS President Don Robinson in a statement. �We will study what�s possible with urban solar arrays and how we can power electric vehicles directly from the sun.�

The project will also feature educational exhibits on renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and recycling.