The Los Angeles Lakers, LG Electronics USA, and Vaha Energy have partnered to power the headquarters of the Lakers, the UCLA Health Training Center, with renewable energy harvested through LG solar panels. The 120,000-square-foot LEED Platinum certified facility serves as both the Lakers’ training facility and the home court of the South Bay Lakers. With two full basketball courts and state-of-the-art features to enhance training, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and injury prevention and treatment, this facility represents best-in-class environment for professional athletes and the business functions that support the teams.
Installed by Vaha Energy, the 375-watt LG NeON® 2 solar panels were identified as the ideal solution for the Lakers’ needs. With 456 panels, the system will generate an estimated 245,000 kWh annually with a projected savings of about $38,000 per year. The solar installation is also expected to pay for itself in less than four years, according to Vaha.
Garry Wicka, U.S. head of marketing for LG Solar, said the Lakers project is noteworthy as the first professional training facility powered by LG Solar panels. “Partners like the Lakers, which share LG’s commitment to sustainability, help to spotlight the environmental and economic benefits of advanced renewable energy solutions,” he said.
Fueled by a desire to reduce their carbon footprint and to achieve LEED Gold status, the Lakers’ LEED Certification consultants, VCA, identified Vaha Energy as the best match for the Lakers installation needs. The Lakers also participated in Southern California Edison’s Savings by Design program, which provides cash incentives and technical/design assistance to maximize energy efficiency and sustainability for nonresidential construction.
Vaha chose LG solar panels, in part because of their high efficiency, which was an important factor considering the limited space available for the installation. LG’s NeON 2 solar panels, supported by 25-year product and performance warranties, feature LG’s Cello™ technology, which delivers better light absorption and reduces electrical loss while increasing power output and reliability.
With the LG solar installation, the Lakers will offset approximately 12.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide (equivalent to carbon sequestered by 6,745 acres of forest in a year), according to Geoff Tomlinson, chief operating officer of Vaha Energy.
“It is a privilege to have quality partners in both The Los Angeles Lakers and LG Solar for this project,” Tomlinson said. “Through the use of solar and by achieving LEED Platinum on their new facility, the Lakers have shown a commitment to sustainability of which Vaha Energy has long been an advocate. As the developer of this project, we hope that Lakers solar panels will inspire others in their community to follow suit.”
Joseph McCormack, the Lakers chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance, said, “We are thrilled with the addition of our new LG Solar panels. Vaha Energy identified the LG Solar panels as the perfect match for our new facility, and we are very pleased with the results. One of our goals as an organization is to be at the forefront of energy efficiency, and these panels further our commitment to sustainability.”
To better serve U.S. customers such as the Lakers, LG is establishing a new solar module factory in the United States. Starting in early 2019, the new $28 million plant (on LG’s 48-acre campus in Huntsville, AL, where the company has had operations for four decades) is expected to produce 500 megawatts of high-performance solar panels annually.