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Eiffel Tower installs two wind turbines as part of monumental retrofit

News International-French

26 Feb 2015

In partnership with the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), UGE International Ltd., a company involved in renewable energy solutions for business and government customers, has installed two onsite wind turbines at the Eiffel Tower.

The project is part of a high-profile renovation and upgrade to the first floor of the monument. Located above the second level for its wind conditions, the turbines are now producing 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, equivalent to the power used by the commercial areas of the Eiffel Tower’s first floor.

UGE designed the wind energy system to provide a clean source of energy at the Eiffel Tower, which is undergoing its first major facelift in 30 years. The two, UGE VisionAIR5 wind turbines were specially painted to match the iconic tower, and top off a series of other efficiency At work: climbing the Eiffel Tower during installation of the vertical-axis wind turbines.upgrades.

The Eiffel Tower’s vertical axis wind turbines are virtually silent and designed to capture wind from any direction, offering a unique addition to the historic structure. The location for the wind turbines, 400 feet (120m) above ground level, was strategically chosen to maximize energy production, allowing the wind turbines to harvest the steady winds at the height of the installation, offsetting the Tower’s energy usage. Mounting the turbines at this location was itself a technical challenge, requiring each component to be hoisted and suspended with ropes to the Tower’s second level.

“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. “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 there is no ‘High Quality Environmental’ benchmark for the Eiffel Tower, one of the major goals of the facelift was to achieve a significant reduction in its ecological footprint as part of the City of Paris Climate Plan.

In addition to wind energy, the renovation also includes LED lighting and 10m² of roof-mounted solar panels on a visitor pavilion, and the output will meet approximately 50% of the water heating needs of the two pavilions. High-performance heat pumps have also been installed to ensure a constantly balanced temperature. The two pavilions have also gained a rainwater recovery system that provides flushing water to the toilet facilities.


In addition to the Eiffel Tower, UGE has designed wind, solar and microgrid systems in more than 90 countries around the world for global brands including Whole Foods, Hilton, Dropbox and Verizon. The company is dedicated to making sustainable living accessible to everyone from the homeowner to Fortune 500 companies…and, now, to the Eiffel Tower.

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