PARIS—New York-based renewable energy solutions firm UGE International Ltd. has installed a pair of wind turbines at the Eiffel Tower that produce enough electricity to power the iconic monument’s first-floor commercial areas.
Installed 400 ft. above ground level, the wind energy system was designed by UGE to produce a combined 10,000 kWh of electricity each year.
The installation was part of a major renovation project, the first the Eiffel Tower has undergone in 30 years.
The vertical axis wind turbines are “virtually silent” and were designed to capture wind from any direction, while being painted to blend in to the Eiffel Tower’s structure.
“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,” UGE chief executive Nick Blitterswyk said in a statement.
“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.”
Although no environmental benchmark was included in the facelift project, UGE said “one of the major goals” was to achieve “a significant reduction” in the Eiffel Tower’s ecological footprint.
In addition to wind energy, the renovation also included the installation of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and roof-mounted solar panels on a visitor pavilion.
The solar installation will meet approximately 50 per cent of the water heating needs of the two pavilions, UGE said.
A rainwater recovery system was also installed that provides flushing water to on-site the toilet facilities.