The US’s most popular sport is becoming more sustainable

Published on Sunday, 8 September 2019

It’s hard to imagine the United States today without football, America’s most-watched sport. And with six world championship rings to their name, it’s hard to imagine New England without the New England Patriots. The team brings together more than half a million fans at Gillette Stadium each season to celebrate their accomplishments, including being the only National Football League (NFL) team to date to play in 11 world championships.

With high hopes in New England, Enel’s North American headquarters, that the Patriots will continue to set unprecedented records this season, the team is giving their fans more reason to cheer: this will be their most sustainable year in history, thanks to their new partnership with the Enel Group.

The Patriots are based in Massachusetts, and this is also home to the headquarters of both Enel X and Enel Green Power North America. This partnership with the Kraft Group is the latest demonstration of Enel’s increased commitment to the local clean energy economy and business community. In May of this year, the Enel Group opened its 10th global Innovation Hub in Massachusetts at Greentown Labs, the largest clean energy incubator in the US.

Gillette Stadium has never been greener

As the Official Energy Partner of Kraft Sports + Entertainment, Enel supports all of the energy delivery and supply initiatives of the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, and Patriot Place.

Gillette Stadium was built in 2002 with sustainability top of mind. The Kraft Group, the holding company behind the Patriots, designed the stadium to yield environmental benefits and cost savings through minimized energy use, sustainable wastewater treatment and a photovoltaic power system. What’s more, Enel X is now set to install 50 electric vehicle smart charging stations at Patriot Place.

Since 2015, Kraft Sports + Entertainment has worked closely with Enel X to maximize energy savings through demand-response programs and resiliency initiatives. These programs provide standby capacity to prevent blackouts and other grid disturbances when the electric grid encounters emergency conditions, and also result in significant savings on electricity bills.

Gillette Stadium,  Foxborough (USA)

Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

Paving the way to sustainable sports and entertainment in New England

We began our partnership by powering the Patriots 2019 Kickoff Weekend on 8 September with renewable energy credits from Enel Green Power’s US wind farms - and this is only the beginning. We’re working with Kraft Sports + Entertainment to evaluate other sustainability initiatives for Gillette Stadium, including smart charging electric vehicle stations and flexible resources such as battery storage, generators, and a microgrid.

Through an exclusive energy partnership with Enel North America, the remainder of the New England Patriots 2019 season will be powered by clean energy through renewable energy credits, while Patriot Place will see the installation of 50 JuiceBox electric vehicle smart charging stations.

Under the agreement Kraft Sports + Entertainment will purchase 270 MWh of renewable energy credits from Enel Green Power North America, which is enough to meet the electricity needs of the five remaining New England Patriots’ home games at Gillette Stadium. 

The JuiceBox smart charging station, powered by JuiceNet software, will provide visitors to Patriot Place with access to a grid-connected smart charging solution free of charge. The JuiceNet platform monitors historical charging patterns, acquires real-time input and signals from the electric grid to aggregate and manage charging station demand, allowing Kraft Sports + Entertainment to support the local utility’s peak electricity demand management by charging vehicles at times when electricity costs are lower and renewable energy is more readily available. 

Enel X is already providing the Kraft Group with energy advisory service solutions to track and analyze their energy usage at Gillette Stadium, and to reduce the stadium’s overall energy consumption. Enel X also provides utility bill management to the sports complex, reporting and identifying potential errors. Gillette Stadium is part of Enel X’s demand response program in Massachusetts, helping to meet the grid’s needs during peak demand periods, such as heat waves, while providing the stadium with payments for powering down non-essential areas when needed.

Ultimately, Kraft Sports + Entertainment aims to make Gillette Stadium the world’s first stadium that operates independently from the grid, and our partnership could make this goal reality. The future of the New England Patriots is green, and we’re excited to be a part of their journey as they break records on the field and around the world.