Forest Green Rovers
GREEN ENERGY POWERED DIGITAL PERIMETER FOR THE WORLD'S GREENEST FOOTBALL CLUB
Renowned as the world’s greenest football club, Forest Green Rovers’ unwavering commitment to sustainability is at the heart of everything the club does. Thanks to a collaboration between ADI and battery specialists Powervault, the club can now also lay claim to the world’s greenest digital perimeter system at The Fully Charged New Lawn Stadium.
Custom Solution Creation
LED Screen Manufacture
LED Screen Installation
Service and Maintenance
A Club on a Mission
Nestled into the gentle green fields of the Somerset countryside is The Fully Charged New Lawn Stadium; the home of Forest Green Rovers. Look from the stands across the green fields and you can make out the wind turbine, which – along with the solar panels on the West Stand roof – helps to provide power for the club, which has been owned for the past decade by green energy pioneer Dale Vince.
Having founded the UK’s first green energy company, Ecotricity in 1995, Vince invested into his local team Forest Green Rovers in 2010 and has been the Chairman ever since. Over the last twelve years, the club has continually sought to introduce eco-friendly developments, from solar-powered robot mowers, recycled football kits, electric coaches and perhaps most famously, a completely vegan menu.
Forest Green are all about encouraging their fans and football to make small choices that can make a difference. Most recently they’ve worked with the English Football League to introduce “EFL Green Clubs”, a new League-wide scheme to help improve the environmental practices and operations for all 72 clubs within the EFL.
A Unique Solution
It was important that any solution we created for The New Lawn Stadium would fit into the club’s sustainable ethos. The ambition was to create a solution that would run completely on green energy and avoid drawing power from the grid.
We were also determined that this would be a pioneer solution that could then be easily repeated in other stadiums to provide a way for other clubs to move towards greater sustainability in their matchday infrastructure.
The first phase of the digital platform consisted of a 100m run of digiBOARD running along the camera-facing touchline as well as a new digital scoreboard facing the main stand.
This has recently been joined by two new camera-facing digiBOARD lengths of 50m behind both goals, providing the opportunity to maximise advertising revenue for the club on matchdays.
We worked closely with a company called Powervault, who are specialists in home and business battery storage. The solution utilises the renewable energy sources available to the club – the local wind turbine and solar panels on the West Stand roof – to charge a bank of batteries located beneath the South Stand between each match.
During the match, the digiBOARDs and scoreboard run completely from the stored power, which is then topped up again prior to the next usage.
Using Perimeter Differently
The strength of Forest Green’s sustainable message means that it has attracted an enviable suite of partners for a League 2 club. However, as you might expect, Vince has ambitions beyond the traditional partner messaging for the content on the digiBOARDs and they also use them to spread messaging about climate change and impact.
Massive Attack’s Robert del Naja is the Creative Director at the club, and he utilised the digital perimeter as a canvas to deliver a stark and powerful artistic piece that premiered during Forest Green’s FA Cup match vs Swindon which gave it a global audience.
Of course, sustainability isn’t just measured in the power used to operate the system. Both the scoreboard and digital perimeter utilise ADI’s new MT series of LED panel; a revolutionary new design that has a number of key features to help slash the carbon footprint of the solution, not just at point of manufacture, but also throughout it’s multi-year operating lifespan.
- MT is dramatically slimmer and lighter, meaning it uses fewer materials, takes less space and energy to ship and requires less materials in supporting structures.
- MT uses the latest LEDs, chipsets and power supplies, allowing it to draw less power which also prolongs the lifetime of the product.
- MT units are a fully sealed fanless design, meaning they can be safely powered down, slashing standby power consumption.
Whilst our Premier League and Championship customers utilise ADI technicians to operate and service their installations, our MT solution has been devised to enable clubs to easily manage their installation themselves, ideal for Clubs in lower leagues on smaller budgets.
MTD has been designed as a self-maintained, modular solution. With only a single power and data connector, the Club’s own team can replace any damaged tiles themselves quickly and easily, helping to reduce costs for the club and also minimising the impact and cost of sending a technician to site each time. Damaged tiles aren’t scrapped; instead they are repaired by ADI’s service bench, then sent back to the Club to place in their stock of spares, helping to prolong the overall lifespan of the installation.
The platform is operated by the club, utilising ADI’s custom-built digiSOFT software. This bespoke program has been continually developed over the last decade to provide powerful operation for stadium perimeter and signage.
digiSOFT makes it really easy for Forest Green to add content and create playlists prior to each match, then schedule and manage content on matchday. They can easily create their own hot keys for custom events and it features tools such as the clock and scoreboard make it a perfect all-in-one solution.
It’s really important to our customers to have support when they need it. Football doesn’t tend to happen during office hours, so the fact that ADI are open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 364 days a year is hugely reassuring to them.
With the live delivery of content to hundreds of football matches every season, ADI’s MCR and Engineering team are always available to provide support should Forest Green’s matchday team ever need assistance with either hardware or software issues.
The installation at New Lawn demonstrates that large scale digital platforms do not need to come with an associated large carbon footprint. The latest digiBOARD product maximises value for clubs and minimises environmental impact throughout the lifetime of the technology.
By installing green-powered LED, Forest Green Rovers have added value for fans by improving the stadium atmosphere, and also created a platform to activate commercial partners, bringing in extra revenue to the League One Club.