Bonnaroo Unveils Permanent Solar Panels To Generate 20% of Its Energy Needs
Bonnaroo Unveils Permanent Solar Panels To Generate 20% of Its Energy Needs

Bonnaroo is getting even greener.

The famously earth-conscious festival announced today via a press release the completion of its fully operational solar array, which will generate 61,000 kilowatt hours per year, or about 20% of the festival's power needs - a first for any large-scale music festival. Bonnaroo will also be selling its renewable energy to the Tennessee Valley Authority power grid.

The system, comprised of 196 SolarWorld panels, was funded entirely by attendees via an optional fee presented during the ticket purchasing process. The fee, in place for the past three years, has previously funded the "mobile tower of power," the compost pad, and the festival's garden. Last year, Bonnaroo added a $1, non-optional fee to all ticket sales, the proceeds from which are also set aside to fund additional green projects.

Rich Goodstone of Superfly Presents, a partner of Bonnaroo, said in today's press release: "Running part of Bonnaroo on solar power has long been a goal, as it underscores the commitment of Bonnaroo organizers and our community to the environment. None of this could have been possible without the immense support of the generous and forward-thinking Bonnaroo community. Their contributions have brought this project to fruition."

While the solar array won't be visible to attendees - it's mounted on a roof in the festival's backstage area - there will be a display within Bonnaroo's green-focused informational hub Planet Roo.

In previous years, Bonnaroo's efforts to keep itself as clean as possible have resulted in the diversion of more than 3 million pounds of waste from landfills through its recycling and composting program - 296,000 pounds of which is the result of using Eco-Products' compostable cutlery and serving ware throughout the festival.

The festival has been recognized with six "A Greener Festival" awards - it would seem that they can all but count on getting their seventh.