Today Metropolis Magazine officially announced the winner of their 2009 Next Generation prize! Titled Wind-it, the brilliant project aims to give our existing energy grid a much needed boost by installing wind turbines in ailing electrical transmission towers. The project is designed for France, but creators Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin, and Raphael Menard believe it could be integrated everywhere, from China’s Sichuan Province to the streets of New York City.
The French design team proposes inserting wind turbines into broken electrical towers, thereby turning the towers into wind energy powerhouses and providing an energy boost to a ready-made grid. Wind-it could also be placed in newly built electrical towers. The design, available in three sizes, could provide enough energy to power one room in a house or even 20 whole houses depending on size and wind speed. According to Delon, if a third of France’s electrical towers were outfitted with turbines, they could rival the energy production of two nuclear reactors–that’s 5% of the country’s total electrical demand.
The project comes at the right time for France, which hopes to expand its wind power capacity to five times the current level by 2020. “There are a lot of people who are against wind turbines because they say it disfigures the landscape,” Delon says. But the Wind-it nullifies that argument by adding wind power to structures that are a familiar part of landscapes everywhere.