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New Delhi stadium gets 1-megawatt solar roof

India's venue for 2010 Commonwealth Games has gone solar as part of 'Green Games' efforts.

Thyagaraj Stadium was built using environmentally friendly construction materials including Fly ash lime bricks.
2010 Commonwealth Games

Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi has installed a megawatt's worth of solar panels on its roof, Suniva announced Thursday.

Suniva, which was chosen as the supplier for the solar roof, is an Atlanta-based solar-cell and module manufacturer. Suniva secured $50 million to build a commercial production facility in Atlantain February 2008. The company licensed technology invented at Georgia Tech: extremely thin high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells that are less than 100 microns thick and claim 20 percent efficiency. Those cells, however, are not yet ready for market. Suniva's 200-micron thin (+/- 20) ArtiSun solar cells were used on Thyagaraj Stadium, according to Suniva.

The stadium was built for the 2010 Commonwealth Games taking place October 3-14, the Olympics equivalent for former British territories, colonies, and existing commonwealth members. (About 71 countries participate including Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Kenya, and New Zealand.)

It's the first time India has ever hosted and the New Delhi organizing committee for the games has promised that this will also be the first ever "Green Games." In an effort to be carbon neutral, the committee pledged a series of green venue initiatives including rainwater harvesting, green waste management, sustainable public transport options, energy-efficient fixtures for venue interiors, solar-based lighting for venue exteriors, eco-friendly construction materials, and planting three city forests of trees.

The solar plant on top of Thyagaraj Stadium goes toward that end.

About 3,640 of Reliance Industries' 280Wp modules containing Suniva solar cells were installed on top of Thyagaraj Stadium. Suniva expects the solar roof to generate approximately 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Correction at 12:11 p.m. PDT: The original version of this story misstated which solar modules were installed on the roof of Thyagaraj Stadium. While the solar cells are by Suniva, the modules are by Reliance Industries.