Bonnaroo’s Solar System

Bonnaroo just got a whole lot greener with the installation of the first permanent solar array for a music festival.

Though the Manchester, Tenn., fest has implemented several sustainability initiatives over the years to reduce its carbon footprint, the construction of its 50kW solar photovoltaic system is taking things one step further.

The system, composed of 196 solar panels and other components mounted to the roof of a backstage area, will apparently generate more than 61,000 kWh per year, or about 20 percent of the fest’s total electricity needs. The energy will be sold back to the local utility distribution network.

“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,” producer Superfly Presents’ Rich Goodstone said, noting contributions from the community surrounding the fest made the solar array a reality.

In fact, the project was fully funded by opt-in contributions from fans during the ticket purchasing process, along with a $1 fee included in every ticket sold in 2012.

Other, ongoing sustainability efforts at Bonnaroo include a rideshare program, compostable food and drink containers and an aggressive recycling and composting