Manchester City unveils massive solar power plan for its football academy

CGI of solar panels at City Football Academy

Manchester City plans make its City Football Academy training facility one of the largest producers of renewable energy in world football.

The Premier League Champions are seeking planning approval from Manchester City Council for the installation of 10,887 solar panels which will generate up to 4.39 MWh of renewable energy every year.

While the self-supplied energy will completely offset the City Football Academy’s annual usage, the power will be shared with the neighbouring Etihad Stadium.

In doing so, the project forms a key part of the club’s efforts to be carbon net zero by 2030.

More than 3,000 panels will be located on the roof of the 7,000-capacity Joie Stadium, which is home to Manchester City Women, while a further 3,942 will be located on the roofs of other facilities on site such as the First Team and Academy Building.

An additional 3,830 panels will be installed on frames over footpaths and pitch-side areas of the academy.

Subject to planning approval, the panels will be fully operational by the end of 2024, and they will be installed and managed by Manchester-based renewable energy developer, Clearvolt.

The project builds on City’s long standing commitment to using clean energy, with the club purchasing 100% renewable electricity under a power agreement for the past eight years.

Club Director of Sustainability, Pete Bradshaw, said: “It is with great excitement that we can reveal our plans to completely offset the power required to run the day-to-day operations of the City Football Academy, by becoming one of football’s largest producers of self-supplied, renewable energy.

“Over many years, we have adopted increasingly sustainable practices across the club, ranging from the removal of all single-use plastic on a matchday to reusing rainwater and recycling more than 70% of our waste.

“As we look ahead on our roadmap to being net carbon zero by 2030, we know that the production and consumption of renewable energy has an incredibly important role to play, which is why we are delighted at the prospect of installing over 10,800 solar panels at our home in Manchester.”

Since it was built 10 years ago on former industrial wasteland, the City Football Academy has gone on to achieve the gold standard under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines (LEED). This is the world’s most widely used green building rating system.

In addition to being a state-of-the-art home to the men’s, women’s and academy training facilities, plus the largest purpose-built stadium in the Women’s Super League, the site also houses a wide array of ecology and wildlife and has been commended by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).