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Cleveland Indians will install wind turbine at Progressive Field

The Cleveland Indians on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that they are working with Cleveland State University’s Fenn College of Engineering to install a 15-foot-tall wind turbine at Progressive Field before next season.

A report on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s website said grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Ohio will “fully cover cost of the turbine and installation at Progressive Field.”

Indians spokesman Curtis Danburg said the project has been in the works for a couple years.

“It’s another opportunity to partner with a Cleveland institution,” Mr. Danburg said. “We’ve been an industry leader in the (sustainability) field, and this is an extension of that.”

Mr. Danburg said the CSU team hopes to create a model that can be duplicated by businesses and even homes, and thus be used commercially.

The turbine will be installed on the roof in the southeast corner of Progressive Field – think where Carnegie Avenue meets East Ninth Street. It will produce 40,000 kilowatt hours per year, or “the amount of energy it takes to power four average American households for an entire year,” according to the NRDC report.

Fifteen feet may sound small, but the turbine involves research done by Dr. Majid Rashidi, a Fenn professor of mechanical engineering, in wind amplification. According to the NRDC, an 18-foot wide cylinder inside the turbine is “constantly rotating to find the most turbulent wind that will keep the four 6-foot circular turbines spinning, and generating energy, as fast as possible.”

The latest green development at Progressive Field follows a long line of other efforts. The Indians were the first Major League Baseball team to install solar panels at their stadium, partnering with Cleveland’s Doty and Miller Architects to install 42 solar panels in June 2007. According to the team’s website, 21,500 kilowatt hours have been produced since the panels were commissioned.

Additionally, the Indians have reduced drastically their trash tons and trash hauls, according to a 2010 nomination form submitted for Crain’s Emerald Awards. The team reduced trash tons 42% and trash hauls 62% since 2007, it said in that nomination. The NRDC report said the team has saved $50,000 since implementing an enhanced recycling program in 2008.