Beer and wars. That’s what Belgium is known for primarily. It’s home to about 160 breweries, down from 3,500 a century ago, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers died in its fields during the Battle of Waterloo (1815), and World Wars I and II.
But now Belgium is home to The Spin, billed as the World’s first cable park that runs entirely on solar energy. The Spin is located at Les Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, a chain of five lakes in Southwest Belgium near the French border.
About $1.5 million dollars have been invested in the park that includes a 7,500 square foot facility that houses changing rooms for riders, a retail shop, a conference centers, and a snack bar serving some of Belgium’s finest brews. For overnighters, the Spin has four lodging rooms that sleep up to six people each.
In 2014, the facility became energy efficient with the addition of 168 photovoltaic panels that can produce as much as 42 kilowatts at peak times. The move has helped the park save more than 23,000 kilowatt hours a year, which in turn avoids about 72 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The park also features a 8,000 gallon (30,000 liter) water tank that collects rainwater that used in the showers and toilets. A wood stove and reflectors help boost heating and lighting.
The Spin features a 2,000-foot electric powered lift that can carry up to 30 riders at a time. The solar panels produce more electricity than what’s needed to power the lift and building facilities.
About 6,500 riders visit the Spin each summer, and it has a local club of about 355 riders.
Prices start at $15 (Euros) per hour, $40 for the day, and $600 for the year.
author: Troy Hawks
The Spin Cable Park: