MONDAY 01 OCTOBER, 2012 |
New Orleans' Solar Powered Skate Park
The previously Hurricane Katrina-flooded Lower 9th Ward community of New Orleans in the USA is celebrating after having cut the ribbon on the greenest skate park in the world.
The Lil Wayne skate park and 6kW solar array was commissioned at a celebration
on September 26 attended by Grammy winning rapper Lil Wayne.
The solar power system will generate approximately 10,000 kWh of clean energy a year and supply the
electricity for the associated community center and skate park's lighting, fans, and computers.
The installation features a pole-mounted dual-axis solar tracking system.
The skate park was constructed with support from the popular rapper and as part
of actor Brad Pitt's Make It Right initiative.
The Lower 9th Ward Village of New Orleans was one of the worst affected places
when Hurricane Katrina tore through the region in 2005. Storm surge roaring
through two large breaches in the Industrial Canal flood protection system hit
with such force, it ripped buildings from their foundations.
4,000 homes were destroyed by the storm and some had totally written off the
area, saying that rebuilding should not occur.
To add to the misery of local residents, the area was re-flooded by Hurricane Rita a month later.
When Brad Pitt toured the city two years after Katrina and saw no progress had been made, Pitt established Make It Right to
construct 150 green, affordable, high-quality design homes in the neighbourhood closest to the levee breach.
As part of that construction, Make It Right Solar was established to install residential solar energy
systems on Make It Right homes.
The Lower Ninth Ward is now the "largest, greenest neighborhood of single family homes in
America," according to the US Green Building Council.
Other companies involved in the design and construction of the Lil Wayne skate
park include California Skateparks, Mountain Dew and Joule Solar Energy.
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