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Ecomagination Challenge: Transit Tunnels That Power New York City?

A proposal in the GE-backed contest shows how it could be done.

hypothetical transit tunnel

The race to win GE’s “Powering Your Home” Ecomagination Challenge, a contest that invites entrants to design the green home of the future, is on. So far, all the entrants are impressive, but one stands out: a proposal for transit tunnels that power cities.

CitySpeed Turbine

Submitted by Alessandra Rapaccini and Giacomo Sanna, the CitySpeed Turbine turns transit tunnels into modular turbines that harness wind power from passing vehicles. The potential for energy is impressive–according to the NY/NJ Port Authority, approximately 202,000 cars pass through the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels each day. Combine that with train tunnels, and the device could be a significant energy source.

CitySpeed Turbine

We aren’t entirely sure how the CitySpeed Turbine fits into the “Powering Your Home” theme, but it’s still one of the better–and more popular–entries in the contest. Other favorites include the Sunnovations solar hot water system, Clarian plug-in backup power and storage, and the high-performance seasonal cool roof.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.

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