Eiffel Tower going green with two wind turbines
AS part of an ongoing facelift of the iconic structure – Eiffel Tower, a New York company this month installed two wind turbines about 400 feet up on the tower, above the second level. They are expected to produce 10,000 kilowatts hours of electricity per year, enough to power the tower’s first floor.
The wind turbines are part of the tower’s goal of reducing its ecological footprint as part of the City of Paris Climate Plan. Along with the turbines, the tower renovation includes LED lighting and roof-mounted solar panels that will meet 50 percent of the water heating needs of two visitor pavilions.
The environmental push comes as the European Union is gearing up to release its plan to reduce emissions to help slow global warming.
“The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most renowned architectural icon in the world, and we are proud that our advanced technology was chosen as the Tower commits to a more sustainable future,” said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of UGE International, the company that installed the turbines. “When visitors from around the world see the wind turbines, we get one step closer to a world powered by clean and reliable renewable energy.”
To keep them from being a distracting sight at the site, the turbines were painted to match the tower. They are situated within the lattice structure, not outside or on top of it; the location was chosen to take advantage of the steady winds that blow through the tower at the height of the second level.
UGE has projects in over 90 countries and has installed wind turbines at the Philadelphia Eagles stadium and on the tallest building in Brooklyn. But the Eiffel Tower offered a unique challenge.
“No cranes or conventional lifting equipment could be used to hoist up all the components, so ropes and winches were used instead,” UGE Project Engineer Jan Gromadzki said. “A special installation team climbed their way through the tower’s intricate structure to assemble one turbine component at a time. Needless to say, no one complained about the views.”
The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the aerial atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast aerials, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.