Manchester City has revealed plans to transform its training base into one of the leading generators of renewable energy across the football landscape.

According to the plans, the Premier League club’s training ground, the City Football Academy, is set to undergo a significant transformation with the installation of 10,887 solar panels, producing approximately 4.39 MWh of renewable energy annually, pending approval from Manchester City Council.

Pete Bradshaw, Director of Sustainability at Manchester City, commented: “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.”

This initiative will play a key role in the club’s efforts to be carbon net zero by 2030, completely offsetting the training ground’s annual energy usage, with the power also set to be shared with the Etihad, the first team’s stadium.

The project will involve placing over 3,000 panels on top of the Joie Stadium, Manchester City Women’s home ground, with around 3,942 panels set to be installed on the roofs of other structures within the City Football Academy, including the first team and academy building.

Additionally, 3,830 panels will be installed on frames over footpaths and pitch-side areas of the City Football Academy. Clearvolt, a renewable energy developer based in Manchester, will manage the installation, with the panels expected to be fully operational by the end of 2024, pending planning approval.

The project builds on Manchester 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.

Bradshaw added: “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.”

This initiative also builds upon a 2022 deal, in which City formed a partnership with renewable energy and sustainable development company Masdar, launching a global campaign that aimed to raise awareness of the importance of climate action and mitigating climate change.

Additionally, since the opening of the City Football Academy 10 years ago, the lot has gone on to achieve the gold standard under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines, the world’s most widely used green building rating system. 

“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,” Bradshaw concluded.

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