Paris' brightest beacon shines light using green energy
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 12:13 PM - The famous centerpiece of the City of Lights has been transformed into a giant wind machine. And chances are, you wouldn't even notice.
The Eiffel Tower is now using wind turbines and other energy-saving methods to generate its own power.
The iconic structure has been outfitted with LED lighting and solar panels in the first major upgrade in nearly 30 years.
Two custom made wind turbines have also been installed, together producing 10,000 kilowatts of energy per year. That amount is enough to provide power to the entire first floor of the tower.
Environmental efforts and upgrades are all good and well. But with more than 7 million people visiting the site each year, the tourist attraction couldn't afford to become an eyesore for the sake of more efficient energy.
Urban Green Energy, the creators of the specialized turbines, took this into consideration when they began construction on the project more than two years ago.
Two vertical-axis turbines have been installed on the second floor of the tower, over 120 metres above the ground.
Designed and painted to blend seamlessly with the iron latticework of the structure, the turbines make little to no sound while they run.
Best of all, the fans are at the optimal height to be able to harness the force of winds from all directions.
Though the major changes taking place at the tower were not mandated, the recent overhaul was done in response to the City of Paris Climate Plan, which seeks to reduce the city's ecological footprint.
The Eiffel Tower remained opened to the public during the entire renovation, which also included the addition of a rainwater collection system, a new heating system and a glass floor on the first level.
WATCH BELOW: Glass walkway at Eiffel Tower