Non League football club Forest Green Rovers are certainly living up to their name after installing solar panels on their stadium roof.

The eco-friendly upgrade at the New Lawn is the first in a series of green energy projects to raise funds for Sustainability in Sport. Former-Manchester United player Gary Neville and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince launched the not for profit organisation during the summer – with the mission of greening-up the world of sport.

The foundation is also planning a series of small wind projects to similarly fund its mission. This very first project will see Sustainability in Sport’s receive annual income from the solar power’s feed-in-tariff. SiS founder Gary Neville said: "SIS was created to inspire change within the sports community and to urgently address the significant environmental impact of sport.

"For many, sports stars are heroes especially for the young, so if we can use sport to raise awareness then that is a significant step forward to achieving SIS's goal. Sport crosses all social and cultural divides and has fans stretching around the world, the potential is massive for sport to make a real difference in the way we live in the future by shaping the way we live today."

It is the latest development at the ground which has seen the club strive to create the world’s first organic pitch. An honour that is expected to be confirmed in two years time by the Soil Association after all chemicals have naturally dissipated from the ground.

SiS founder Dale Vince said: "This is the founding project of Sustainability in Sport and Forest Green Rovers are chuffed to be a part of it. This first project will put space age technology in plain sight of football fans - it's not just about making green electricity and saving pollution (important as they are) - it's about stimulating thought and debate.  Showcasing new technology and new ways of doing things."

Posted on 04/12/2011