The 125-year-old structure is partially powering itself thanks to two new wind turbines that were just installed.
Located above the second level, the turbines will produce over 10,000 kWh of electricity per year, offsetting the annual consumption of commercial activity on the Eiffel Tower’s first floor, which thanks to a larger refurbishment project now includes two panoramic pavilions with meeting and conference spaces, plus a new glass floor.
One of the major goals of the refurbishment project was to achieve a significant reduction in its ecological footprint as part of the City of Paris Climate Plan.
In addition to the wind turbines, other green enhancements include roof mounted solar panels–whose output will meet approximately 50 percent of the water heating needs of both new pavilions–plus a rainwater recovery system that provides flushing water to the toilet facilities, and also reduces the amount of energy needed to power the booster pumps used to pump water to the higher levels of the vertiginous tower.
To top off the green changes, in another energy saving move, almost all of the lighting on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower has been converted to LED.
The Eiffel Tower’s green upgrades come at a good time, with the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC due to take place in Paris this December.
Speaking about those upgrades, Eiffel Tower spokesman Jean François Martins shares, “The Eiffel Tower and its teams are constantly developing features, hospitality facilities and services offered to visitors, in ways that respect the principles of sustainable development and ensure high levels of safety.”
Installing giant wind turbines into an iconic structure located 400 feet above ground level was no easy task. Mounting the turbines required each component to be hoisted individually and suspended with rope above the tower’s second level.
Amazingly, the Eiffel Tower remained open to the public throughout the entire refurbishment project, including all of its sustainable development upgrades.
Noise from the turbines is not a concern because apparently the new additions are super quiet as far as wind turbines go, and in case you’re worried that the turbines will visually conflict with the Eiffel Tower’s original design, the turbines are “specially painted to match the iconic tower,” as UGE put it.
Hopefully he would see them as a step in the right direction–a symbol for the world to admire–that conveys the reality of humanity’s situation, which is that without a planet, nothing else will matter.