Swiss architectural and design firm Rafaa has proposed building a 345-foot solar tower and urban waterfall that will provide power to the city of Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games in 2016.
The solar city tower project consists of a massive power plant that will generate energy for the Olympic village in Rio. Excess energy from the solar panels will be pumped as seawater into the tower. At night, the seawater can be released to run a turbine and generate electricity. The water also can be released during special occasions to create the urban waterfall, Rafaa said.
The structure will include a balcony on a glass sky walk at the top of the tower, an observation deck located slightly lower and a cafeteria and shop beneath the waterfall.
“The technology and design is pretty much one-of-a-kind,” said Eric Bloom, senior analyst at Pike Research. ”It’s innovative and it addresses the intermittency challenges of renewable energy like solar and wind.”