The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.