Cleveland Indians Unveil Wind Turbine atop Progressive Field
By Alice Henly
Used with Permission of NRDC - Switchboard
This morning the Cleveland Indians unveiled their revolutionary wind turbine, the first of its kind to sit atop a ballpark.
After three years of work planning, designing and building the innovative corkscrew-shaped turbine in partnership with Cleveland State University’s Fenn College of Engineering, the Indians secured the turbine on top of the southeast corner of Progressive Field in the space of only a couple of hours.
“We will first lift and install the triangular steel platform, then raise and secure the turbine,” said Brad Mohr, the Indians’ assistant director of Ballpark Operations. “It will be fully installed by lunchtime.”
The relatively short installation process is likely benefited by the fact that Mohr’s team doesn’t have to transport the turbine very far to its final resting point. In fact, the 3,000-pound turbine was strategically assembled in the players’ parking lot at Progressive Field to cut down on transportation emissions and costs.
Over the past couple of months, ironworkers affixed 80 translucent white plastic pieces around a heavy aluminum frame to form the thick corkscrew helix. Today the helix will be attached to the steel base that will hold it in place on the ballpark roof.
With the turbine installed and lit from within by colored LED lights, the Indians will turn next to engaging fans with interactive digital kiosks about wind energy. Fans will be able to pedal away on stationary bikes installed around the ballpark to try and generate as much power as the turbine.
“This is a great opportunity to teach fans about the importance of clean energy technologies,” said Mohr.
As I describe in my blog announcing the Indians’ plans for a turbine, this isn’t the first renewable energy project the Indians have pioneered in the region. In June 2007 the Indians installed a 42-panel solar electric system—visible to the thousands of fans who pass through the ballpark each game day—that generates enough power to run all 400 televisions throughout Progressive Field with 8.4 kilowatts of clean renewable energy (approximately 10,000 kWh/year).
Although the solar array is small, the cultural message being sent by the Indians about the need to find environmentally-friendly alternatives to fossil fuels is significant.
In fact, the Indians have an impressive record of environmental initiatives. Since 2008, Mohr’s expanded recycling program—with 125 recycling receptacles around the ballpark—has cut the stadium’s trash tonnage in half and saved the ballpark $50,000 each year.
“That's where we see the financial difference, that and in recycling, avoiding trash being hauled away,” Mohr said. “Green initiatives are here to stay because they save teams money.”
Other noteworthy environmental projects by the Indians include:
- a comprehensive composting program
- fully retrofitting lighting fixtures, bulbs and adding light sensors to increase energy efficiency
- rethinking procedures by decommissioning sections of the stadium when not in use to save big on energy, water, staffing and supplies by using the field more effectively
- only purchasing paper products made of 100 percent post consumer content
- only using Green Seal certified cleaning products
- developing a staff and fan environmental education program with ad campaign taglines such as, “Our Tribe is Green... Are You in the Tribe?”
With help from NRDC and its many greening resources, like the Greening Advisor, the Indians have made impressive strides in improving the efficiency of their operations to save hundreds of thousands of dollars, while benefiting the environment and educating thousands of fans.
For more information, click here.
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
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