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Clean Power football team to add wind, solar, and cogeneration to stadium

Published on November 19th, 2010 | by Tina Casey


Philadelphia Eagles Soar Into Clean Energy Future with $30 Million Wind and Solar Power Installation

November 19th, 2010 by  

Update: The Eagles actually went ahead and purchased UGE wind turbines. The picture below is from the project site.

7 UGE- Eagles Stadium

The sports world is abuzz over the Philadelphia Eagles’ decision install a $30 million renewable energy system in their stadium, but sustainability is nothing new for the progressive football franchise. The Eagles established a Go Green program in 2003, way before it was cool. The stadium’s distinctive new spiral wind turbines, along with solar and cogeneration installations, will once again set a high bar for other sports venues to follow.

Philadelphia Eagles and Sustainability

Back in 2007, while many sports franchises were still merely mulling over the idea of introducing their fans to sustainability, the NFL was beginning to stake out a  leadership position by purchasing renewable energy for the Superbowl.  Even so, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Go Green program was already four years into its mission, which focused on education, conservation and recycling. In 2007, the team announced that it was upping the ante by getting at least 100 of its employees to purchase wind energy.

The New Lincoln Financial Field Sustainable Energy Installation

It will be hard to beat the Eagles new sustainable energy system, which is designed for high visibility. Built by the Florida-based company SolarBlue, it will consist of 80 futuristic-looking spiral shaped wind turbines rimming the top of the stadium, and 2,500 solar panels on the facade. The system will also include a 7.6 megawatt cogeneration plant along with a “smart microgrid” system to keep everything running at maximum efficiency.

Green is Green

Green means big bucks for the Eagles, because the system will generate 4 megawatts of excess energy off-peak, which will be sold back to the grid. The franchise also expects to save $60 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.

Sports and Sustainability

Not to sell other sports short, by the way. This year, Major League Baseball announced a comprehensive sustainability strategy, and the ski industry and golf industry are also charging ahead with conservation and renewable energy projects. Even NASCAR has begun to focus on shrinking its carbon footprint and reducing its use of toxic chemicals. Hey, if NASCAR is into it, what are all those politicians so afraid of?

Image: Spiral wind turbines courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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  • Did this go ahead?

  • Good on them. Great news. The Eagles, as any sports club have a great influcence on their followers, which is why a project like this can have a great impact on the solar power market. Hope other clubs follow this example.

  • I applaud the Eagles on this – even though I’m a die-hard Giants fan! (see also “Where Eagles Dare” from me on this – http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/11/19/where-eagles-dare/)

  • Daniel Essman

    Thanks, Tina, for the “up” news…when I think of Congress, the global warming deniers, the folks bought-and-sold by the petro-chemical industry…well…my stress levels kinda skyrocket. You’ve made my day.

    • Tina Casey

      Daniel: Well I’ve been in and out of the news business for a while and the thing to remember is that the news is just a business and people are mainly trying to make enough money to keep their operation afloat (and make more money). Good feelings sell greeting cards, not newspapers! So, I like to keep telling myself that there is plenty of “up” out there, it’s just not news (except for a human interest story now and then…but that’s not news either, it’s a story).

  • alex

    aren’t those types of turbines supposed to be more efficient and also safer for our feathered friends?

    • Tina Casey

      Alex: Good question. Anybody out there know if these particular turbines are known for avian safety?

      • Bob Wallace

        Wind turbines are not a problem for birds. Multiple studies have found kill rates at 0 to 3 birds per turbine per year.

        As turbines are placed higher in the air and with the resulting slower rotation speed of larger vanes the kill rate will drop further.

        Wind farms are also being located away from migration pathways if needed.

        Cats, windows, cars – that’s what kills birds. And let’s not forget habitat loss which global warming is bringing us.

        The bird kill myth comes from the first US wind farm, Altamont in CA, which used grid towers and lower, faster turbines. Raptors tended to roost on the grid towers and launch themselves through the rapidly spinning blades as they dove for prey.

        But even the commonly encountered numbers for bird kills at Altamont are likely bogus. At one point the numbers were distorted by anti-wind people. A more careful analysis of actual kills find that the Altamont kills were not numerous.

        There is a small problem of bat kills by turbines, ones located closer to the ground. The solution is to slightly raise the cut-in wind speed of the turbines during evening hours when bats are feeding. As soon as wind speeds increase above a slight breeze the insects on which the bats feed stop flying and the bats leave. Very little electricity generation is lost.

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