Guest smoggeordie Posted April 16, 2007 Share Posted April 16, 2007 PLANS to make the Riverside a state-of-the-art eco-stadium will move a step closer to reality this summer when a giant wind-measuring mast is erected over Boro's iconic home. By early 2009, Boro plan to have erected a £3m wind turbine which will stand 125 metres tall from ground to tip of the blades. The windmill-like machine will be capable of providing renewable energy not only to the club but to 1,000 homes too. The turbine would be just the first step in Boro's plans to consider all forms of renewable energy. Planning permission has already been granted and work is due to begin on the installation of a 70-metre high mast which will tower over the Riverside in the stadium car park. It will allow experts to measure wind speed at various heights to calculate more accurately the amount of energy that will be generated by the wind turbine. This mast will be fitted with wind-measuring equipment to constantly measure and record in a data logger over the following 12 months. Information will then be transmitted via a satellite link to a computer in the wind measurement laboratory. When installed, it is estimated that the wind turbine would generate about 6.6m kilowatt hours of energy per annum, enough to cover the stadium's 1.9m kilowatt hours consumption and a surplus to provide power for 1,000 Middlesbrough homes. The surplus electricity could be exported to the National Grid for sale to alternative buyers or partners. The great news is that a three-megawatt turbine will also save about 5,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. The surplus energy generates revenue which may be used to cover the costs of buying, constructing operating and maintaining the wind turbine and possibly some profit for the club, which would go towards funding running costs for the stadium. Terry Tasker, MFC's head of operations, says: "We are working in partnership with Renew Tees Valley to develop green energy sources for the football club with the aim of eventually moving towards self-sufficiency. "We aim to be leaders in the field for professional football clubs in renewable energy. The cost of energy is going through the roof, so most organisations are trying to address the issue. "Through our partnership with Renew Tees Valley, we aim to show how a stadium at the centre of a community can lead the way in energy efficiency and eco-friendly renewable energy practices. "We hope to deliver the message of energy efficiency, climate change and assist in the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in Middlesbrough." It is possible that other forms of renewable energy could be introduced to the Riverside once the turbine is up and running. These ideas include photovoltaic solar panels on the South Stand roof, geothermal heating from underground pipes in the staff car park, biomass wood-fueled boilers and rain water harvesting from the stadium roof. Paul Jackson, commerce manager for Renew Tees Valley, adds: "In the future we will be investigating the feasibility of incorporating other forms of renewable energy at the stadium. "This will be seen as an ongoing exercise in creating awareness of renewable energy and the options available to the management and staff of Middlesbrough Football Club, but as importantly to the their families, fans and wider community and neighbours. "The football club enjoys a high profile and status which is the perfect vehicle to get important messages to large numbers of interested individuals and organizations. "MFC fully understand they have huge responsibilities in this area and are keen to share their learning to see others adopt green strategies too. "This project is equally important for increasing the benefits to Middlesbrough Football Club, contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions and in reducing reliance on fossil fuels by the club whilst securing crucial supplies of electricity into the future." Boro supporters are among those whose views regarding the wind turbine are being sought by the team responsible for taking the wind turbine from drawing board to reality. A programme of consultation with open community involvement will be undertaken prior to a full planning consent application being submitted to Middlesbrough Borough Council. Although hopefully non-contentious, support and opposition to the proposal for a wind turbine from the industrial and commercial neighbours of MFC, from the community in the vicinity of the club and from other interested parties will be openly addressed. Paul Jackson explains: "It makes good sense to have the support of the fans of MFC too, and they will also be kept fully informed of developments. Their views will be particularly welcomed." Boro fans can give their views on the potential wind turbine by emailing [email protected] or by simply taking part in a poll on the club's official website at mfc.co.uk from 3pm on Saturday. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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