Miniature wind turbines on Parisian roofs

Monday, April 26, 2010

A life-sized experiment was launched on the pilot site of the Maison de l'Air. For the first time, the potential of two miniature wind turbines will be evaluated in an urban area. Pushing Paris to the forefront of urban ecology: this is the stated aim of the 20th arrondissement's city hall, which is encouraging Elena Energie to install two small wind turbines on the roof terrace of the Maison de l'Air. Only 1.6 metres high, they have an aerodynamic fairing which accelerates the internal air flow and muffles the whistling of the blades.
The two “Turboliennes” will produce 30,000 kWh per year, corresponding to 15% of the building's energy and saving 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year. Monitoring apparatus will constantly record the speed and direction of the wind, the speed of the rotor, and the amount of noise. The experiment will help researchers to evaluate the potential development of wind turbines in Paris. With an output of 3.6 kW, they could eventually supply electricity for 6 apartments or a single house heated solely by electricity.
“If the experiment is a success, within 5 years 10 mini-turbines will be installed on roofs in Paris," says Denis Baupin, the deputy mayor responsible for sustainable development. Possible sites have already been identified, such as the Buttes du Chaumont (19th), the Butte de Montmartre (18th) and some wind corridors such as the Avenue de France (13th). According to Baupin, there is “real potential” for urban wind turbines.
Anne Hidalgo, another member of the council responsible for urban planning and architecture, also stresses the social and economic benefits of the project. "Paris wants to be a leader on questions of sustainable development. It can alleviate social problems by, for example, reducing electricity bills for some housing. On a local level, the local town planning regulations have been adapted to allow the turbines. “The Grenelle 2 bill advises all cities to pass similar legislation.
The Climate plan, which aims for Paris to use 25% renewable energy by 2020 has finally been launched. Apart from the wind turbines, several other sources of energy are currently being developed: geothermal heating, methanisation, solar heating, and photovoltaic cells. 200,000 m2 of solar panels should be installed between now and 2014. A request for tenders for marine turbines under the bridges on the Seine will be launched soon. According to Mr Baupin, “we don't have oil in Paris, but we do have ideas and energy resources.”

Tags: wind, renewables, turbines, CO2, renewables, urban wind turbines, urban ecology