How much extra energy does Sochi need for the Olympics?


how-much-extra-energy-does-sochi-need-for-the-winter-olympics-2014As of last week, all our eyes are on Sochi. With thousands of people from all over the globe travelling to compete, to support, to report on, and to watch the 2014 Winter Olympics, being able to provide enough electricity for this sudden surplus of usage has become a major concern for the Russian city. The Energy Collective reports that on average, the city of Sochi uses approximately 440 MW/day. By the Opening Ceremonies, they’ll need an extra 100%, approximately 1,000 MW/day. In other words, they need enough power for two Sochis!

According to Sarah Battaglia from the Energy Collective, those in charge of the Games have a plan. “With such a monstrous jump in energy consumption, one can only wonder how Sochi will be able to pull it off.  According to the official Sochi Olympic website, several power stations are being built or refurbished in order to meet demand,” she writes. “To guarantee a constant flow of energy, backup power sources will also be installed near the venues.”

Thankfully, conservation is key. We were very pleased to learn that going green is at the forefront for those in charge in Sochi, with the installation of LED lighting in its venues, utilizing solar power panels, creating air purification and decontamination systems, and the possibility of green roof installations. According to the official Sochi Games website, this marks the first time green standards are being set on a national scale throughout Russia.

These Olympic Games are also the first to be considered completely carbon neutral. According to a news release from the Dow Chemical Company (the official chemical company of the Olympic Games):

“Sochi 2014 will be the very first Olympic Games to offset 100 percent of the estimated travel footprint associated with spectators and media, amounting to 160,000 metric tons (MT) of CO2 equivalent emissions. The travel footprint is one of the most significant contributors to the emissions of a world-class international event – such as the Olympic Games.

‘One of our main inspirations is to take a significant step forward to help increase environmental awareness and inspire others to do the same in Russia,’ said Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. ‘Thanks to Dow’s strong leadership and partnership, expertise and unmatched capabilities, we are delivering on our commitment to host Games with minimal impact on climate and achieving an invaluable positive impact for our country and for the Olympic Movement.’”

How did Vancouver 2010 stack up?

Conversation was also at the forefront in 2010 and we saw first-hand how initiatives like these really do make a difference; Vancouver’s “world-leading conservation programs” helped saved an estimated 18 gigawatt hours of electricity, which was “enough to power more than 1,600 homes for an entire year.” Even more so, Canada has experienced a positive impact lasting beyond the games as we continue to use these green venues. We hope, in the same way, that what is being done now in Sochi will continue to push Russia forward into a more energy conservative and green future.

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