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Indians install wind turbine at ballpark

Workers attach a wind turbine to top of the southeast corner of Progressive Field, home of baseball's Cleveland Indians, in Cleveland on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. The Indians are the first major league team to install a wind turbine. The innovative corkscrew-shaped structure, which was designed at Cleveland State and funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and state, will be operating by opening day on April 5. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians' newest acquisition has power to all fields.

The club installed an innovative wind turbine on Wednesday, affixing the corkscrew-shaped structure to the top of Progressive Field. The revolutionary turbine, which amplifies airflow around a central cylinder to power four small fans, was designed at Cleveland State by Dr. Majid Rashidi, a professor of mechanical engineering.

Rashidi's design is more conducive for urban areas and confined spaces than a traditional long-blade wind turbine.

"Dr. Rashidi's new technology is playing a significant role in the advancement of wind energy," said Cleveland State president Ronald Berkman. "We are proud to showcase this exciting new design in our hometown along with the Cleveland Indians, and use this venue to move the technology closer to commercialization."

The 3,000-pound turbine will be operating by opening day on April 5, when the Indians host the Toronto Blue Jays. Development of the turbine was funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and state of Ohio.

The Indians are the first major league team to install a wind turbine, which isn't the team's first environmental projects. The club installed solar panels to its downtown ballpark in 2007, the first AL team to do so.

The Indians hope the turbine will cut costs, increase its use of renewable energy and potentially create new jobs in the region with the development of new technology.

"With this project we hope to not only benefit the environment by increasing our use of renewable energy, but also help an impressive new technology generate local jobs by taking advantage of Cleveland's great manufacturing workforce and factories," said Brad Mohr, assistant director of ballpark operations. "Working together with Cleveland State, we can take advantage of this great opportunity to continue to teach our fans about clean energy technologies."

The turbine is being mounted on the ballpark's southeast corner. It will be illuminated with colored LED lights and can be seen by anyone traveling into downtown on roadways from the south.