This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 07, 2004

World Trade Center's Freedom Tower to Feature Wind Turbines

New York officials unveiled plans for the Freedom Tower—the centerpiece of new construction at the World Trade Center site—on December 19th, including plans to incorporate wind turbines that will generate 20 percent of the building's electrical power needs. The Freedom Tower will be the world's tallest building and will incorporate state-of-the-art safety systems, far exceeding New York City's building code requirements. Topping a 60-story base that will include office space and other amenities, a lacy structure of tension cables will rise to 1,500 feet and will include the wind turbines. Atop the open truss area will be a spire that will rise to 1,776 feet. Groundbreaking for the tower is expected in mid-year. See Governor George E. Pataki's press release.

If built as planned, the Freedom Tower's use of wind turbines would be the world's first large-scale integration of wind turbines into a building. Wind turbines are generally not suited for urban environments because of the turbulence created by nearby buildings, but the height of the Freedom Tower may overcome that difficulty. According to the architect—Skidmore, Owens, and Merrill LLP (SOM) —the building's location at the confluence of the Hudson and East Rivers is expected to allow the turbines to generate electricity at least 40 percent of the time, enough to cover the building's base power demand. See the SOM press release and SOM's images of the Freedom Tower design.

The wind turbine concept for the Freedom Tower was developed with the help of Battle McCarthy Consulting Engineers & Landscape Artists. Images of the proposed wind turbine installation are available on the Battle McCarthy Web site.