Gallery: Dragon-Shaped Solar Stadium in Taiwan is 100% Powered by the S...

Built upon a clear area of approximately 19 hectares, nearly 7 hectares has been reserved for the development of integrated public green spaces, bike paths, sports parks, and an ecological pond. Additionally, all of the plants occupying the area before
Built upon a clear area of approximately 19 hectares, nearly 7 hectares has been reserved for the development of integrated public green spaces, bike paths, sports parks, and an ecological pond. Additionally, all of the plants occupying the area before construction were transplanted.

Building a new stadium is always a massive undertaking that requires millions of dollars, substantial physical labor, and a vast amount of electricity to keep it operating. Toyo Ito‘s design negates this energy drain with a stunning 14,155 sq meter solar roof that is able to provide enough energy to power the stadium’s 3,300 lights and two jumbo vision screens. To illustrate the incredible power of this system, officials ran a test and found that it took just six minutes to power up the stadium’s entire lighting system!

The stadium also integrates additional green features such as permeable paving and the extensive use of reusable, domestically made materials. Built upon a clear area of approximately 19 hectares, nearly 7 hectares has been reserved for the development of integrated public green spaces, bike paths, sports parks, and an ecological pond. Additionally, all of the plants occupying the area before construction were transplanted.

Non-sports fans in the community have a lot to jump up and down for as well. Not only does the solar system provide electricity during the games, but the surplus energy will also be sold during the non-game period. On days where the stadium is not being used, the Taiwanese government plans to feed the extra energy into the local grid, where it will meet almost 80% of the neighboring area’s energy requirements. Overall, the stadium will generate 1.14 million KWh per year, preventing the release of 660 tons of carbon dioxide into atmosphere annually.

+ Toyo Ito

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  1. Kasper Lee July 18, 2015 at 9:04 am a news video from 2012 talking about the electricity bill of the stadium. In short, it says the stadium is closed most of the time only used for sport game or music concerts sometimes in a year but the eletrciyt bill is more than $8.1Million NTD a year. Despite the fact there are only 6 workers in the staidums but the centralised aircon. Regarding this controversy of high electricity bill, the stadium spokesman stated the solar power is at maximum generation at 10AM, but the solar power system was not designed to store the electricity. The national sport stadium depite the fact has solar power generation but the power it generates in far less than consumed. Power consumption is 40% AC, 30% lighting, and 30% Heat vetilation elevator and the rest. The centralised AC of the stadium is turned on when there are only 6 people working in the office normally. But the department of sport claimed the AC was already modified to be split type since 2010 and the lighting power consumption is 80% street light at night used for nearby people. The stadium claims they have tried hard to reduce power consumption as the power consumption of the stadium is 10.3Million NTD in 2009, 8.3M in 2010 and is reduced to 8.1M in 2011.

  2. rqbikes March 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Actually, what probably happens is that the stadium feeds its power generated into the local grid during the day, while the sun is out and the offices arong the city need juice. At night it may well draw from the grid to light the stadium, but it has “paid forward”. Since most of its life it will stand empty. It is a good excuse to combine a solar array with an architectural structure and give a 2 for 1 to the community.

  3. scintilla March 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    The stadium doesn’t need batteries to store the solar power. It just sells the electricity to power companies. In the end it doesn’t consume any electricity. It actually generates profit.

  4. greeneffort1 March 16, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Naysayers will be naysayers, but Tinklesnooks has a point. I believe the costs are already factored in. The point is, there will be no fossil fuels consumed going forward to power this stadium. The line should be drawn in the silica today, anything built after today should consume no net energy. Even with mean time to failure considered, most of the cells should outlive the stadium.

  5. manster March 16, 2011 at 8:43 am

    This is proof that Solar is a viable, and “mass-producable” comodity, able to supplement, if not, exceed our energy expectations for years to come… if only the beaurocracies and “oil giants” would just step aside and allow this clean and powerful “sleeping giant” to thrive, we would all be better off…

  6. mavsguy842 March 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    No PV manufacturer is going to sell panels for less than it cost to build them, including all the electricity it took. I don’t see how anyone thinks those are somehow hidden costs not paid for by the final purchaser in the cost of a panel.

  7. Tinklesnooks August 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Is Taiwan able to sell their carbon dioxide “pass go” card, or something? I hear countries trade these allowances to eachother… they have a certain amount of carbon dioxide that is allowed to be emitted each year. They must be worth a lot. If true, do we know if Taiwan will sell to another country or stay true to the basis of this project?
    This is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear words like “counter” and “productive. Heh heh.
    Otherwise, I’m thinking that maybe you’d need to invest greater energy into a project that will in turn function on the least energy possible in the future.

  8. Taiwanese Survey Shows ... July 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    […] way to get from point A to point B — it might just help your love life too! A new survey from Taiwan reports that the high speed rail line between Taipei in northern Taiwan to Kaohsiung in the south […]

  9. greenegg July 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Since it’s in Tokyo, I expect that big ass must belong to Godzilla…

  10. Shikibu June 1, 2009 at 6:06 am

    It does look like a toilet seat, but for a VERY BIG ass. And few are supposed to be looking at it from the skies.

  11. Valpy May 29, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Am I the only person who thinks it looks like a toilet seat?

  12. rjlock May 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    What an elegant structure and design.

    I suppose the naysayers here would have preferred that the stadium go conventional…just draw more juice from the grid. Or better, build a mini coal fired plant on location to generate the power requirements. Of course, as long as the coal/nuclear advocates can stop solar/wind from getting adopted, they can continue to argue that solar is too expensive. Too bad we can\’t calculate the cost of smog (China knows smog) or cracked fuel rods that can make a nuclear plant a potential environmental catastrophe.

    But for the reality based community, this is great. How many large stadiums in the US could serve dual purposes of providing game night power/illumination while providing a steady source of incremental energy that avoids having to build more coal fired generating capacity. Taiwan\’s location is perfect for solar. As far as costs go, no doubt Taiwan\’s foundries provide the crystal ingots, but low cost China labor builds the assemblies. Taiwan/China gains lots of knowledge in large-scale solar design and deployment…the people surrounding the stadium benefit from reduced power costs. Sounds like a win-win to me.

  13. Feend May 27, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Passerby, \”I\\’m a big fan of green energy, but I ask followers like you to please keep politics out of critical discussion of facts.\” Where did you get your \’facts\’ from?
    see for more details, but it shows that the payback of PV is in the range 1.5 – 2.5 years. It depends on where it is installed and what type of solar cells you are using (polycrystalline is better than mono, ribbon cells are better than poly). PV is generally warrantied for 25 years and most modules can be expected to continue producing power for 50 years.
    Also, batteries are not used in these types of system. Instead excess electricity is exported to the grid, offsetting the grid\’s peak load that occurs in the middle of the day (reducing the need to use inefficient generators to meet that peak load and reducing transmission losses). Electricity used by the stadium at night is offset by this exported power.
    As a photovoltaic engineer, I am so impressed. Beautiful installation.

  14. enviergy May 26, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Nero, where are your calculations that prove one solar panel takes 10 years to “payback” the energy “debt” used to create this one solar panel? I’d be real interested if you have any hard data here, and are just not parroting a figure as seen on right_wing_climate_change_is_bogus_blogs. Thank you. :)

  15. akoskm May 26, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Nice job! It\’s good to see that the peoples take care about our planet! Keep up the good work. 😉

  16. renewablearchitect May 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    This article needs more details. Just like the conversation that is taking place demonstrates, the public is getting more informed of the issues – which is great. When Inhabitat publishes articles or press releases though it should pose and qualify the project thru a series of questions like “when will it achieve net-zero carbon status?” My hunch is that there are not enough batteries to run all the lights at night. Any way that would be an inefficient use of solar power in a gridded locale. What would be best is if the panels provided all stadium power for day games and sold excess to the grid during peak hours of cooling. Then bought all its power for night games when demand and grid stress is less.

  17. passerby May 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Respectfully BeholdersEye,

    I hope you return to see this comment. This is a math issue not a political one. It is a known fact that a certain amount of coal and fossil fuel and coal must be used to create, ship and install the PV solar panels. All of this fuel can measured and the amount of energy it would have produced, had the it not been used on the solar panels.

    This used energy is a debt that the solar panels must make up for called \”payback\”. Even with the most advanced PV solar panels today, the payback debt takes about 10 years for them to absorb and redirect enough energy to just pay off their non-green energy debt.

    So after 10 years we\’re free and clear right? It\’s all free and clean energy from there? Well, yes and no. The lifespan of a PV solar panel may range from 20 to 30 years, so the gamble is that they\’d pay for the cost of their replacements, but you also have to consider the lifespan of the batteries used during the day time to keep the energy for use at night. And if a fire or earthquake were to strike? Massive losses for both the taxpayers and the environment.

    I\’m a big fan of green energy, but I ask followers like you to please keep politics out of critical discussion of facts. I\’m glad this stadium is using the panels since it will encourage growth in the PV panel market and encourage more efficient and cheaper future designs, But I also recognize this is also a massive gamble. If something happens to the stadium before it can fully pay back its energy cost, not only the people lose, the environment loses.

  18. BeholdersEye May 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    What the hell is wrong with you Nero, first of all the energy pay back is with in days of use. Do you say the same damn thing about your car or HUMMER? Or how about your home, does it produce power or just is a energy hog and only consumes energy? This Studium will out produce any power it consumes, unlike you. Keep the nonsence to youself it does not add to any conversation, except that you belong to the Cheney Party.

  19. Nightflight51 May 22, 2009 at 5:08 am

    James, obviously they won’t use the lights during the day. They probably just charge batteries during the day, so they can illuminate the field at night.

  20. Nero May 22, 2009 at 2:06 am

    James, you’re forgetting the insane manufacturing costs to build those solar panels in the first place. They likely won’t generate enough energy to cover the energy-cost to make one in a factory (that more than likely used coal or nuclear power to run). So the entire concept is counter-intuitive.

    Looks shiny though.

  21. 123james321 May 21, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I love the idea, but there is a slight problem with this. The purpose of the solar panels is supposedly to generate light for the stadium: the “50,000 seat arena is clad in 8,844 solar panels that illuminate the track and field with 3,300 lux”

    Now wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to using the light that is already there, powering the panels which are powering the lights? Also, when it gets dark and you want to put the lights on, the solar panels will be producing little/no electricity so the required energy will have to come from other sources (fossil fuels/nuclear) anyway.

  22. stickmonkey1 May 20, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    that is one badass stadium

  23. bozo May 20, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I’m pretty sure this one was solar powered too.

  24. bozo May 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I’m pretty sure this one was solar powered too:

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