Windmills power Eiffel Tower

Two turbines installed 127m high to capture wind and cut Iron Lady’s energy consumption

THE Moulin Rouge has a competitor today for the most visited windmill in Paris as two wind turbines have been installed high up on the Eiffel Tower to help cut the monument’s energy consumption.

Sited on the second floor at a height of 127m, the two 7m-tall vertical wind turbines can supply up to 10,000kWh a year which is enough for the shops on the first floor. They are sited where there is almost permanent wind blowing.

With seven million visitors last year, the world’s most visited paid monument uses 6.7GWh of electricity (the equivalent of a village of 3,000 residents) each year to power its lifts, the 10,000 LEDS in its illuminations and the array of shops and restaurants on the different levels.

Unlike traditional wind turbines, the vertical blades of the new turbines from Urban Green Energy catch the wind from any direction and, painted a muddy grey colour, blend in with the iron structure of the monument.

The #EiffelTower now has its very own wind turbines : (via @Slate) #WeLoveParis— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) February 26, 2015

Even if the windmills are spinning continuously they provide only a tiny fraction of the power needed but last week Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted that the Eiffel Tower had been 100%-powered by renewable energy since January.

She was referring to a contract signed with Grenoble energy company GEG to supply equivalent “green” energy into the national grid to supply the tower’s electricity needs.

The Iron Lady has been undergoing major refurbishments to cut energy consumption and last year the new-look first floor was opened with its showpiece glass floor but, hidden away, were other works such as solar panels and new glass storefronts to reduce the need for air conditioning. In all, they cut the monument’s energy needs by 30%.
Eiffel Tower photo - HDR / Twitter photo - UGE