Universidad Católica targets Chile’s first fully sustainable venue with Enel deal

Featured image credit: Universidad Católica

Chilean Primera División football club Universidad Católica (UC) has detailed plans to build the country’s first 100% sustainable sports venue after agreeing a wide-ranging deal with energy company Enel.

UC said the stadium will be completely supplied by green energy, with a solar plant to be set up on-site. Other features of the stadium will include electric vehicle charging stations, architectural lighting and a renewed infrastructure to support a 100% electric venue.

The club has teamed up with Enel Chile, Enel Generación and Enel X on the venture. UC said the solar plant will be able to completely power six matches per month. Enel will provide solar, wind, hydraulic and geothermal energy for the stadium for an initial period of six years.

The consumption of renewable energy associated with the supply contract will be equivalent to the reduction of around 1,700 tonnes of CO2, the planting of 97,600 trees, or removing 565 cars from circulation per year.

Maisa Rojas, Chile’s Environment Minister, said: “The project that Universidad Católica is developing in the construction of its new stadium is in line with how new works in Chile should be conceived. 

“With the signing of this agreement, UC is contributing to the carbon neutrality goal that we have as a country. Thinking about sustainable constructions, where materials are reused, the consumption of water and other natural resources is reduced, is thinking about the future. 

“We live in a triple planetary crisis, which is pollution, climate change and loss of biodiversity, and an important way to face it is to think about works of architecture, public spaces and infrastructure in a different way.”

Club president Juan Tagle added: “This is a new advance in the dream of having a new and modern venue for our sport, but also for culture and shows. 

“However, the most notable thing is that joining this leading company guarantees us to continue along the lines of a sustainable project based on our permanent concern for sustainability and the environment. Renewable and autonomous energy will be one of the main characteristics of this work that we will develop together with Enel and Enel X, our brand-new energy partner.”

UC played its final match at the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo last August. The new stadium will be built on the site of the old ground.

The new stadium will seat 20,000 fans and will include covered two-tiered stands, new service areas and “high standards” of comfort and safety. Spanish firm IDOM has been engaged to design the new-look stadium, which once redeveloped will include a new roof and more corporate boxes and VIP areas in an effort to create a modern, multi-purpose venue.