Electric power consumption is one of STAPLES Center’s main operating costs and accounts for the majority of the arena’s carbon footprint. AEG was looking for a cost-effective way to lower electric power demand while continuing to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the arena’s operation.
In 2015, STAPLES Center powered up its new 500-kilowatt Bloom Energy fuel cell installation as a new element of the arena’s strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. On November 19, 2015, Former Vice President Al Gore and other dignitaries joined AEG executives to celebrate the new project and to speak to the important role business plays in addressing global climate change. Students from Los Angeles High School were invited to attend the ceremony and received a short lesson from Bloom Energy CEO KR Sridhar about how fuel cells work, as well as advice about pursuing careers in STEM.
The fuel cells will reduce STAPLES Center’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2.2 million pounds each year, while also saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual energy costs. In addition to the Bloom Energy fuel cells, STAPLES Center has a 346 kW rooftop solar array, which has helped power events with renewable energy for the past seven years. In 2014, STAPLES Center became the first U.S. NHL arena and first NBA arena to use specially developed LED sports lighting which save approximately 1,250,000 kWh of electricity each year.
The fuel cells will supply roughly 25 percent of the arena’s electricity, complementing the existing rooftop solar installation and LED sports lights.