The Philadelphia Eagles may still be looking to win over animal activists after they signed Michael Vick last year, but they’re probably now scoring major brownie points with echo-warriors. The organization announced a huge, and fascinating, initiative to convert Lincoln Financial Field into the first self-generated renewable energy stadium in the world. While there are some stadiums globally that have attempted to construct echo friendly stadiums, like the possible solar powered World Cup stadiums in Qatar, they’re nothing like this.
The team hired SolarBlue to install around eighty spiral spiral-shaped wind turbines on the top rim of the stadium, measuring about 20 feet, as well as some 2,500 solar panels on the stadium’s facade. The company will also construct a 7.6 megawatt on-site dual-fuel co-generation plant and implement a sophisticated monitoring and switching technology to operate the system. It will cost the Eagles a cool $30 million for these additions, but will eventually save the team an estimated $60 million in energy costs. SolarBlue plans to have the system up and running by September, 2011. Despite some fans not caring, this project is interesting in a couple of ways.
First of all, the energy generated at the stadium should be more than enough, which means, that the excess energy will be pumped back into the local grid. Hopefully, this will create lower energy bills, and cut back on fossil fuel usage, for the people of Philly. In a weird way, it’s an innovative way of giving back to fans, and taxpayers, who have supported the team either by cheering them on or assisting in the construction of the Linc. Secondly, this is simply an organization paving the way for future teams, companies, etc., in the green movement. If this saves the Eagles millions of dollars, helps the environment, and gives back to the community, you can bet that more organizations will do the same in the not so distant future. Besides, since the world of sports is so competitive, do you really think that rivals will let Philly be the only green sports team? Finally, the year long project is also estimated to employ some 200 workers in the Philly area, which will obviously help the economy in the city.
Like I said, there may be people that could care less, but the environment is something that we should all at least care mildly about. If the Earth dies, we do too. Yes, the turbines look a bit goofy, and out of place, but people will adjust. For the time being, I can see drivers on 95 going, “What the hell are those?” Kudos to the Eagles for being trendsetters and doing the right thing for the community, the Earth, and proving to the world that America can still be ahead of the world.
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