Solar scores goal at Confederations Cup semifinal


Solar power will score the main goal at Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal between Brazil and Uruguay regardless of who wins the match.

The Mineirão Stadium in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, which is hosting the game, boasts a 1.4 MW rooftop installation, thanks in part to German efforts to promote sustainable energy around the globe.

Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, state secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (BMZ), along with Antônio Anastásia, governor of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, and Djalma Bastos de Morais, president of Brazilian energy utility CEMIG, inaugurated the first solar panel erected on the roof of the Mineirão Stadium in May.

The stadium project, built by Portugal’s Martifer Solar, will also include a rooftop installation on the nearby Mineirinho Arena, will eventually have a total energy output of 2.5 MW once complete.

The Mineirinho Arena, the largest indoor sporting venue in Brazil with a seating capacity of 25,000, is located alongside the 57,483 capacity Mineirão Stadium.

The generated energy is feeding directly into the grid instead of being used for the stadium. The 1.4 MW solar panels in­au­gu­rat­ed last month can supply 900 house­holds annually with clean energy.

“On average, solar radiation in Brazil is twice as high as in Germany,” said Beerfeltz. “Until now, however, that potential has hardly been used for power generation. We want to help our Brazilian partners to change that.”

For this reason, he added, the solar rooftop at Mineirão Stadium — which will also serve as a 2014 World Cup venue — is a flagship project that will attract significant attention, encourage people to follow the example and boost solar energy expansion in Brazil.

The project’s total invest­ment costs amount €12.5 million, covered by a €10 million reduced-interest loan from the German KfW Redevelopment Bank and CEMIC’s own contribution of €2.5 million.

Moreover, Germany’s Deutsche Ge­sell­schaft für In­ter­na­ti­o­nale Zu­sam­men­ar­beit (GIZ), which promotes international cooperation for sustainable development, will advise CEMIG on behalf of the BMZ on the commercialization of solar energy and the training of technical staff.

Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semifinal game between the host country Brazil and Uruguay kicks off at 4 pm local time.