Since 2008, Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island, New York has been declared an area for the production of clean-energy. Mayor Bloomberg said back in 2008 that this area would be a great place to produce wind energy in order to help New York become more sustainable. Building a new wind farm always takes time though so now in 2012, a contest was held as part of the Land Art Generator Initiative to find a renewable energy solution for this area. Many designers entered the contest with some extraordinary designs but the winners were chosen, and four designs were picked as the best. All the designs were unique in their own way on how they produce energy and the aesthetic features, but one that sticks out is the fourth place winner entitled “99 Red Balloons.”
The designers were focused on the experience that visitors would get when they visited this site. Their aesthetic concept is for the balloons to sway with the breeze while reflecting sun rays and shadows down on the ground.
Efficient solar energy was also a focus on the design. The balloons are comprised of photovoltaic solar generators with a height of 100 feet high up in the air between the pole holding up the balloon and the balloon itself. A very interesting aspect of this technology is when a visitor walks past a balloon, the red color fades and the solar system is illuminated so you can view how the technology functions. Each balloon has 7,000 square feet of transparent solar cells on it’s surface, generating about 150 MWH per year, and a total of 14,000 MWH between the entire installation of balloons.