You heard it right. When the festive ball drops to usher in 2014, renewable energy will contribute to the flashiness of its cascade. For the past three days, New York City and visiting bicyclists have been generating power on stationary Citi Bike® bicycles to power the annual Times Square event.
From December 28, six Citi Bikes at 7th Avenue and 42nd Street have produced kinetic energy thanks to people power. Each bike generates an average of 75 watts per hour. All rides are being metered. 12-volt deep cycle batteries have stored the energy bikers have generated. Tonight the energy will feed into to the New York City power grid to help light 32,000 LED lights on the six-ton New Year’s Eve Ball and power its slide into 2014.
Citi Bike is the nation’s largest bike share system and is funded in part by a $41 million sponsorship from Citi Bank. Its initial service area includes Manhattan below 59th Street and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and DUMBO.
The Citi Bike website gives more information on this Big Apple zero-emissions travel/commute program, You can also purchase a membership there.