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Infineon Raceway Announces Solar Partnership with Panasonic

Steve Puma | Friday November 19th, 2010 | 0 Comments
What solar panels might look like on turn 10 at Infineon Raceway

What solar panels might look like on turn 10 at Infineon Raceway

On a perfect fall day in beautiful Sonoma, California, Infineon Raceway president and general manager Steve Page, along with Jim Doyle, president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, announced a multi-year partnership between the two companies, marking the launch of Infineon’s comprehensive sustainability initiative.

The centerpiece of the collaboration will be a major solar-power-generating installation at the raceway, with a capacity of more than 350 kilowatts, along with a new dual-sided, solar-powered LED billboard along Highway 37, replacing the existing signage.

The cooperation with Panasonic also includes the renaming of the Infineon Raceway Technology Center, based in the paddock. It will now be known as the Panasonic Technology Center.

Racing the Bar
This new initiative will significantly enhance the facility’s existing sustainable practices in its daily business operations, while at the same time communicating a clear message to the raceway’s customer base about the performance benefits of green transportation technologies.

According to Mr. Page, “Infineon Raceway is uniquely positioned to take the message of sustainability to the horsepower-and-performance crowd who have not necessarily been the early adopters in this movement.”

“Northern California is consistently the leading market in the sale of hybrid and other green vehicles, and is also traditionally a market leader in the sale of performance vehicles. Those two trends will intersect at Infineon Raceway….[we want to] demonstrate that we, as a business, put our money where our mouth is. If we are going to serve as credible evangelists, in the green movement, then we need to be able to walk the walk, and that’s what we are talking about, today.”

Steve Page and Jim Doyle, in front of Infineon Raceway's main grandstand

Steve Page and Jim Doyle, in front of Infineon Raceway's main grandstand

Fast Friends
Infineon, after a long search, found what they believe to be the perfect partner in Panasonic. According to Mr. Doyle, Infineon understands just how important “eco” is to Panasonic: “Our global CEO has made it the number one objective, for the entire corporation: to be the world’s leading green innovation company, worldwide, by 2018, (known as “Green Plan 2018“) which is our 100th anniversary.”

A total of 1,652 of Panasonic’s Sanyo solar panels will be installed at the raceway. Locations include: the Turn 10 Sound Wall, Main Grandstand, Jim Russell Racing Drivers School Tech Center, Raceway Café and Infineon Raceway’s main offices. The solar power produced by the new system will provide for 41% of the raceway’s overall energy usage.

Much of the installation will be visible by the raceway’s patrons at its major events, and will serve as a continuing reminder about sustainability. The installation, which will be handled by REC Solar, begins in January, 2011, and is expected to be completed by April.

Solar Project Facts:

  • System Size: 353kW solar array, at five sites
  • Installation Types: Rooftop, Pole Mount, Dual Axis Tracker Mount
  • Percentage of Electrical Load Offset: 41% of total Raceway usage
  • Technology: 1652 SANYO HIT Power and HIT Double bi-facial panels
  • Made in the USA at Sanyo’s Salem, OR facility
  • First Year Power Generation: 567,602 kWh

30-Year Environmental Benefits:

  • 34+ thousand barrells of oil offset
  • 29+ million vehicle miles not driven
  • 125+ pound of acid rain emissions reduced
  • 57+ thousand mature trees planted
  • 10+ thousand tons of CO2 reduced

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Steve Puma is Director of Business Development for SABA Motors, and a sustainability writer/consultant. His work focuses (mostly) on clean transportation, including Plug-In Electric Vehicles, something he is very passionate about.

Steve holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in Computer Science from Rutgers University. You can learn more about Steve by reading his blog, or following his tweets.


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