Paris, je t’aime.. the crêpes, the wine, the culture and the plans to install eight turbines underneath the city’s celebrated Seine bridges to raise energy from river currents. The city will launch an appeal this week for power companies to come up with suitable projects to install the turbines.
“After a study by our urban ecology service and the French waterways, four potential sites have already been identified,” Denis Baupin, the deputy mayor, told Le Parisien newspaper. One is to the west of the city, at the Pont du Garigliano, while the others are in central Paris, at the Pont de la Tournelle, Pont Marie and Pont au Change. Two energy-harnessing machines will be placed at each spot.
“At these places the current speeds up a little,” said Baupin. “The idea is to locate all the natural power sources that we have in Paris and that we might be able to exploit.”
The companies interested in the project have until the autumn to submit proposals. The winner will be chosen next January and the first turbines or propellers installed by next spring.
Paris authorities — already experimenting with the heating of buildings with water from underground springs, and installing mini-windmills on buildings — say the project is aimed more at raising public awareness ofrenewable energy than powering the city.
“We’re not expecting the moon and the stars with these techniques,” Baupin said, “but the educational impact of these experiments is just as important.”
Image credit Franck Depoortere