Solar-Powered NASCAR Track Mows Grass With Sheep (Video)


Image credit: Infineon Raceway

Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, has already hit the pages of TreeHugger for hosting insanely fast electric motorbikes. But while the idea of "green" motor racing may still seem somewhat of an oxymoron, Infineon is working hard to prove otherwise. Not only have they just unveiled a solar array big enough to supply 41% of the circuit's electricity demand, and launched an ultra-efficient LED billboard, they've also taken to mowing their extensive grass with sheep. Check out the video below to view the action.

Forbes reports that Infineon Raceway has just revealed its extensive solar array, consisting of 1,652 solar panels, and it has also replaced a giant billboard that used to use 7,000 incandescent light bulbs, with a new one consisting of 57,600 LEDs—using half of the power of the original.

But while large-scale solar arrays and LEDs may get the gadget-heads excited, I'm more interested in the fact that the track has been using 3000 sheep to keep its grass trimmed, replacing the need for a whole army of lawn mowers and weed whackers.

Lloyd has talked before about the idea of greenwrapping—or the application of very real sustainability initiatives or technology on an inherently unsustainable thing, like a parking garage or coal-fired powerplant—and I am sure that many eco-purists will see this as more of the same—driving around in circles for entertainment is pretty far down the list on the sustainability spectrum. Yet if we want the auto industry to green up its act, and we want the general public to come along for the ride, then the greening of motorsport has to be a step in the right direction. And as motorsport is often the testing ground for new technologies and new ways of doing things, Infineon's genuinely ambitious green initiatives could have serious leverage for inspiring even more change.


Installation of the 353-kilowatt photovoltaic array at Infineon. Image credit: Infineon Raceway
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Tags: California | Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Solar Power | United States