Shell’s Morro da Mineira Project has opened a soccer pitch in the favelas that captures the energy of players and uses it to sustainably power floodlights at nighttime.
Community sports facilities are vital to provide a space for communities to come together and keep fit, but they cost money to run and the resources aren’t always there to keep them in good shape. This is especially the case in Brazil, where the country’s disconnected communities where public spaces aren’t lit up at night, rendering them unusable. In Rio de Janeiro, soccer legend Pelé recently helped launch Shell’s Morro da Mineira Project has opened a soccer pitch in the favelas that captures the energy of players and uses it to sustainably power floodlights at nighttime.
Located in the Morro da Mineira favela, the pitch has long been a popular practice space for kids in the neighborhood. It’s now been renovated with tiles located underneath the surface that become charged when a force is placed upon them. Throughout the day, the energy of the players using the field is captured and stored as electricity, while solar panels also collect the sun’s energy. Previously, kids had to stop playing when night fell, but the new system is now used to power floodlights that make the space safe even when it’s dark. The community benefits from extended access to the resource, keeping kids healthy and out of trouble, while avoiding the high bills that typically come from non-renewable power.
We’ve already written about Cablean Sportveld, a sports pitch in the Netherlands that turns into a giant solar panel when not in use. Are there other ways to sustainably power community spaces?