Image

Waterfront Arch Will Generate Solar Power For This Surprising Town

Waterfront Arch Will Generate Solar Power For This Surprising Town
User Avatar
Updated 3 months ago

A reclaimed waterfront in Willimantic, Connecticut, will have artwork that’s able to generate solar energy. The Rio Iluminato is expected to hold a 900-square foot solar array on top with stainless steel panels on the bottom reflecting the entire area. This week, it was victorious in the Land Art Generator Institute’s design competition (LAGI).

LAGI revealed the winner on Connecticut Arts Day on Wednesday. The solar arch was designed by Pirie Associates Architects with the aid of Lindsay Suter and Gar Waterman, an architect and sculptor, respectively. LAGI also worked with Willimantic community members and universities to help develop a new centerpiece for brownfield remediation.

“Rio Iluminado was chosen by the selection committee as the winner because the design emerged out of a thoughtful community engagement process and reflects (both literally and figuratively) the hopes and aspirations of the people of Willimantic for this new place with a timeless and elegant regenerative sculpture,” LAGI co-founders Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry said in a blog post.

Rio Iluminato is capable of generating 25.5 megawatt-hours of energy. That’s enough to power the 3.4-acre landscape that is going to become a park along the Willimantic River. A number of brownfields exist across the United States at waterfronts and urban areas, and this particular section will be remediated, or restored for public use.

The next phase will have further design elements in the project, such as how it will be fully constructed, surveying the land it’s built on, how much it will cost, and a schedule to get it completed. LAGI will then enter a third phase that “will see the fabrication, instruction, and production of the artwork” at up to $500,000.

“Willimantic, as a community in its postindustrial reckoning, struggled to identify itself and its future,” Laura Pirie, principal of Pirie Associates Architects, said in a statement. “The LAGI program really resonated with us, from a community purpose-making point of view.”

Once redeveloped, the land will be a recreational site serving multiple uses. The town expects it to bring in tourism, spark a change in their downtown areas, and to enhance community life. It’s a model that could be used in similar areas across the state.

Two other projects were considered in the contest. Eddy Line was a solar-powered sculpture created by a variety of architects and had a potential of generating 94 megawatt-hours of clean energy through sunlight. Another idea was the Solar Boombox, a self-explanatory shipping container that had less capacity, but played music in the process.

RecircStyle7 Etsy Shops Full Of Cruelty-Free Skincare

These seven Etsy shops from around the world offer an impressive range of cruelty-free products you can feel good about putting on your face.

By Marissa Higgins
1 day ago
RecircNews72 Million New Homes Will Run On Solar Power By 2030

A new report shares why decentralized energy grids will power the homes of the future and make a major difference in the lives of those in developing countries currently with limited or zero access to electricity. 

By Koty Neelis
2 days ago
RecircNewsStarbucks And McDonalds Team Up To Create A Compostable To-Go Cup

Starbucks and McDonalds are working together to rethink to-go cups and inviting others to join them in creating eco-friendly packaging in an effort to reduce waste and environmental impact.

By Koty Neelis
2 days ago
RecircFoodMeat And Dairy Corporations Could Soon Beat Oil As World's Worst Polluters

A new report finds that meat and dairy producers are on track to surpass the oil industry's greenhouse gas emissions.

By Kristin Hunt
2 days ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our newsletter