The Eiffel Tower has new wind turbines, and they’re beautiful

March 2nd, 2015

0227-ResearchRoundup-Eiffel_tcm20-2190722The Eiffel Tower’s iron-clad frame turned slightly greener last week, with the installation of two new wind turbines along its lower deck. Perched some 400 feet above the ground, atop a ritzy, second-level restaurant, the slender turbines are part of a broader effort to make Paris’ most iconic monument more eco-friendly — even if only slightly. When they go into operation next week, the 17-foot structures will provide enough electricity to power the tower’s first-floor commercial areas — about 10,000kWh per year. Jan Gromadzki, an engineer who oversaw the project for New York-based Urban Green Technology (UGE), says that’s enough to power an average American family’s home for one year. But for the Eiffel Tower — which consumes an estimated 6.7 GWh a year — “it’s just a small drop in the ocean.” “A VISUAL STATEMENT” “This installation is definitely more symbolic,” Gromadzki says. “But it is still significant because the merchant spaces on the first floor do consume energy, and being able to offset that consumption is something people can really assimilate and understand.” The curved, tri-blade turbines were designed and installed by UGE, which has planted its crescent-shaped turbines and other renewable systems at sites across the globe. But the Eiffel Tower posed unique challenges. Each blade had to be hoisted by hand and pulley up to the second floor, and secured within the building’s tight lattice structure along its southwest corner. The entire installation had to unfold at night, as well, since the Eiffel Tower is open to the public until 11PM seven days a week. The Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, the organization that manages the Eiffel Tower, wanted “something that would make a visual statement,” Gromadzki says, without distracting from its distinct silhouette. So the blades were painted in a brown-grey hue to match the building, and extra vibration dampeners were added to make sure the turbines wouldn’t disturb diners at the upscale Jules Verne restaurant below. When running at full speed, the turbines only produce about 40 decibels of sound — about the equivalent of a whisper.

Clean energy for stadiums: a winning combination

February 3rd, 2015

Lincoln_4On game day, thousands of sports fans flock to stadiums to see their favorite team battle it out, without paying mind to the immense resources needed to power the arena. What many visitors do not realize between eating, drinking, and cheering is the amount of power, water, and materials that are consumed to build, operate, and maintain these large facilities. Once large energy suckers, stadium and arena enterprises are beginning to see the viability of sustainability by reducing their carbon footprint and producing renewable energy.

With on-site renewable energy, stadiums and arenas become power producers rather than heavy energy consumers. In 2012, Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, installed 14 wind turbines above their end zones in addition to solar PV panels to help generate all of its electricity onsite and become net zero. The 3.1MW of on-site renewable energy capacity saves the stadium a staggering US$3m annually. Lincoln Financial Field isn’t the only one touching down in renewable energy. In fact, of the 126 American professional sports teams, 38 use renewable energy to supply some of their needs. This movement continues to build momentum, as the new San Francisco 49ers Levi Stadium is the first professional football stadium to achieve LEED Gold. A 375kW solar installation will be unveiled, providing enough power annually to offset power consumed during home games.

Solar and wind technology are becoming rapidly more cost competitive, with many financing options available to reduce upfront costs for stadium owners. Venues can save over US$1m in a single year due to greening efforts and furthermore attract $1m in new corporate sustainability sponsors. An added bonus of stadium-integrated wind and solar systems is the freedom from severe price fluctuations. For high impact users like sports venues, that means serious savings.

Many sports leagues around the world are already hitting it out of the park when it comes to incorporating sustainability into their overall operations, but given the unique high visibility of stadiums, the benefits of on-site distributed power generation extend even further. Solar panels and wind turbines draw immediate attention, allowing sustainability efforts to stand out from the crowd. At these high profile locations, on-site renewable energy is truly a win-win, spreading awareness and promoting sustainability among fans, who are increasingly asking venues, “Why haven’t you invested in renewable energy yet?”. Sustainability in sports is a clear home run, positively influencing both the bottom line and our energy conscious culture.

Shifting the way an entire industry consumes energy may sound like a lofty goal, but in practice, transitioning to renewable energy is now quite simple. An energy audit identifies opportunities to implement renewable energy, and allows a custom solution to be designed to target the specific needs of a facility. These solutions can be installed with minimal capital expenditures, thanks to financial tools such as Power Purchase Agreements. With so many compelling benefits, and such few implementation barriers, powering a stadium with clean, renewable energy is a goal worth setting. After all, if teams are making great strides on the field, why shouldn’t we expect the same of the fields themselves?

Wind Turbines to Power Super Bowl

January 16th, 2015



Salt River Project will light the Feb. 1 Super Bowl in metro Phoenix with electricity from wind power.

The municipal utility announced the energy sponsorship Tuesday, although the board of directors approved the deal in 2013 as part of a $1 million sponsorship of the Super Bowl Host Committee, a non-profit liaison between the league and the host region.

The power to the Super Bowl originally was estimated to cost about $200,000, but SRP spokeswoman Patty Garcia Likens said Tuesday the cost now is expected to be about $50,000 for the electricity, services to the stadium and renewable-energy credits.

SRP will provide $500,000 cash, $450,000 of in-kind services and $50,000 for electric energy, the related services and renewable energy credits for University of Phoenix game-day related period, a company representative said Tuesday. Originally, the utility was to provide $225,000 cash.

The sponsorship sparked a controversy two years ago over whether the non-profit utility should help support the game.

“We believe it is the right thing to do for a community member like SRP,” General Manager Mark Bonsall said at the time.

SRP officials said the true cost of the sponsorship was much less than $1 million because much of the deal was to provide in-kind services.

MORE: Super Bowl coverage

The influx of people visiting Arizona for the game is estimated to increase electricity sales for SRP that week by roughly $300,000, Bonsall said at the time the deal was approved, making the sponsorship almost a wash.

SRP, meanwhile, has been locked in a fierce debate over renewable energy. A proposal to charge higher rates to customers who install solar on their homes has drawn hundreds of people to public hearings in protest. The plan will be considered by the utility’s board in late February.

Managers at the utility contend that it is more cost-effective to build large solar power plants and allow customers to purchase a block of electricity from the facility.

Customers and rooftop-solar installers contend that such an arrangement does not give customers the same opportunity to cut their own electric bills by installing solar and generating much of their own electricity.images

January 16th, 2015

Big Wind Ad coast star

Happy Holidays from The Big Wind LLC

December 2nd, 2014

Big-Wind-Happy-Holidays1[1]To our friends, family, and associates:

Some folks may be wishing for a White Christmas this year, but The Big Wind hopes that the holiday you’re celebrating (whatever it may be) is joyous, fun-filled, and green!

Have a wonderful holiday season and a safe, prosperous New Year!

Your Friends at The Big Wind


November 13th, 2014

10153915_10204333871562175_3935729243126725831_n413429_3835389118498_1205454164_o-300x225The Big Wind LLC celebrates seven years of Wind Energy , and we look forward to many more years providing renewable energy products to New Jersey, New York and the Republic of Ireland!!!

Construction begins on Wayne Auto Spa wind turbine

October 6th, 2014

073014-td-turbineWAYNE — It’s not often that an auto spa and a garden will be synonymous, but a ride along Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne may just change your mind.

A visit to the Wayne Auto Spa can result in a cleaner car, an oil change, brake adjustment or other maintenance on a vehicle.

But the two acre property, owned and operated by Rob Burke, is also home to a thriving garden, which grows tomatoes, celery, beets, oregano, sugar snaps, radishes, onions, zucchini, cucumbers and other foods.

And off to the side of the property, a chicken coop houses plenty of egg-laying hens.

And now, the spa will be enhanced with a windmill-type turbine. The turbine could supply about one-third of the spa’s energy needs, specifically the car wash. It will provide energy that is free, clean and renewable. The wind energy will also provide geothermal air conditioning.

Work has already begun on the turbine, which will stand about 50 feet tall once it’s fully installed. Groundbreaking began by digging into the ground approximately four feet. A seven foot by seven foot cement slab covering the ground was recently laid. The actual turbine will be constructed next, with the various parts already on the property.

Burke hopes that the windmill will be up and running, within the next two weeks.

“It will run strictly by wind power,” said Burke of the turbine. “With the (existing) solar panels on the roof of the spa, we are saving more energy and helping the environment.”

A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind, intro electrical power. The smallest turbines are used for applications such as battery charging for auxiliary power for boats caravans, or to power traffic warning signs. Slightly larger turbines can be used for making small contributions to a domestic power supply, while selling unused power back to the utility supplier via an electrical grid.

Burke, an attorney by trade, is a full time entrepreneur at his business. While he has a staff to take care of the automobiles, his passion is growing food, with the products going to needy people in Passaic County by way of food pantries.

Earlier this year, Burke teamed with Eva’s Village, a Paterson-based comprehensive non-profit service organization and one of the largest anti-poverty programs in New Jersey, to provide food for the hungry.

“We’ve made six good sized donations to Eva’s, and we expect to have a lot more food going to them in the next few months,” said Burke.

Eva’s Village provides a wide range of services for the poor in New Jersey, including food, shelter, substance abuse treatment, primary medical and dental care and a variety of transitional and permanent housing options.

Making food and helping the less fortunate is something which drives Burke.

“It’s an amazing feeling when we’re able to help others,” Burke said, as he tended to a number of tomato vines. “And the way people have followed us, and the work we do is pretty nice, too.”

According to Burke, volunteers are at the plenty to help pick up chicken feed.

“Every month, someone volunteers to drive up to Sussex County and get about 500 pounds worth of feed,” he said. “Believe me, it’s so appreciated, because that’s almost a full day’s venture, between getting the food and bringing it back. But to have volunteers help is incredible. I haven’t had to make that trip in almost a year.”

Recently, Burke noted that a bee expert learned of his work and is now helping Burke learn more about honeybees and their role in the pollination of vegetables and fruit, which is vital toward a garden’s health.

Children also enjoy what Burke’s Victory Garden and Learning Center at the spa is accomplishing.

“I think when people see what we’re growing, food that is organic and good for you, it’s quite an eye opener,” Burke said. “And we have more projects on the horizon, past the turbine. There’s so much more work to do. When you see the price of food today, it’s crazy. Everything is going up, all the time. It’s nice to be able to help others.”

Fundraising for a greenhouse on the property is going well, and Burke hopes it will be in place by the fall.

“The greenhouse will obviously help us grow more food, especially during the winter months, when it’s not as advantageous to plant outdoors,” he said.

The concept of a Victory Garden extends nearly 100 years in the United States, according to Burke.

“During World War I and World War II, people in this country would grow food to help feed our troops,” Burke said. “Forty percent of American produce from that era came from those gardens, both public and privately owned. Can you imagine if that happened today? If every business could grow food, it could feed so many people. I look at what we’re able to accomplish here and it’s small thing, but it brings out so many feelings of thanks.”

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August 28th, 2014

UGE Secures Order to Power Telecoms Sites With Distributed Renewable Energy Microgrids

August 28th, 2014

Remote Tower Locations Will Be Equipped With UGE’s Hybrid and Battery Storage Systems for Maximum Reliability and Efficiency

August 26, 2014 — New Yrok — UGE (TSX.V:UG), a leader in renewable energy solutions for global enterprise customers, has received a purchase order to deploy hybrid microgrid energy systems for remote telecommunications towers. The telecoms site operators will utilize UGE’s expertise and equipment to increase the reliability and security of their energy supply while dramatically lowering the costs of powering the sites.

The telecoms towers are powered by UGE’s modular technology platform, designed to capture the specific renewable energy resources available at each site. Each site location incorporates an optimized combination of solar panels, energy storage, and wind turbines for fully integrated off-grid hybrid systems. The telecom towers will also utilize UGE’s monitoring and control technology to ensure constant system uptime.

“Telecommunication tower operators in emerging markets often face severe challenges with grid reliability, site accessibility, and rising fuel costs,” said Henry Hatch, UGE’s business development manager for the telecoms market. “Renewable energy paired with UGE’s advanced site analysis and monitoring capabilities address these issues with a solution that lowers costs and facilitates uninterrupted communication.”

These microgrid systems have been purchased by a confidential government entity for use in the Middle East. The purchase order, valued at over $400,000 USD, is expected to be fulfilled throughout the remainder of 2014.

About UGE
UGE is a leading developer of distributed renewable energy solutions for enterprise clients with projects in over 90 countries, including several for Fortune 1,000 companies. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform, UGE deploys modular energy systems that solve clients’ challenges at the nexus of cost, resiliency and sustainability. From solar and wind systems, to microgrids and off-grid lighting, UGE is the solution provider of choice for enterprise energy challenges.

UGE Wind Turbine’s go up on the tallest building in Brooklyn

June 17th, 2014

Wind Turbines go up on tallest building in Brooklyn