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Published on December 31st, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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New Year’s Eve Ball In New York (Times Square) To Be Partially Powered By Bikes



The power of bicycling has been used before. Stationary bikes have been used to create electricity for hotels, they’ve been used in prisons to create electricity for nearby cities, they’ve been used to power bloggers, and they’ve been used to power many other things. This year, electricity generated from bicyclists will also be used to help power the New York City New Year’s Eve ball.

citi bike

Image by Ben Fried via Streetsblog

In particular, stationary Citi Bike® bicycles will be used, helping to highlight the popular bike-sharing program launched in NYC this year, the largest bike-sharing program in the US. Launched on May 27, Citi Bike users have already ridden the equivalent of 450 times around the globe. Holy cow, right?!

“Citi Bikes have energized New York City, transforming it into a far greener place while making New Yorkers more healthy,” said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. “Now New Yorkers can do themselves and the world a service by energizing the New Year’s Eve Ball, making the world’s most famous celebration greener and better!”

The bicycling has already been done, actually. Here are some details from a press release published a few days ago:

From December 28th to 30th, a Citi Bike Pedal Power Station at 7th Avenue and 42nd Street will feature six Citi Bike bicycles that people will be invited to ride to generate kinetic energy that will be collected and stored in batteries. That energy will be transferred to the New York City power grid to offset the energy needed to light the New Year’s Eve Ball.

The six bikes at the Citi Bike Pedal Power Station will be connected to 12-volt deep cycle batteries. Each bike is expected to generate an average of 75 watts per hour. The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is lit by more than 30,000 LEDs. Throughout the three-day event, a power meter at the Citi Bike Pedal Power Station will show how much energy has been generated.

Pretty cool. Wish I could have been there and helped to power this year’s New Year’s Eve ball. :D

Check out all our bike stories on our bicycling channel, and subscribe to our cleantech newsletter if you are really into this stuff.

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  5. Bike-Sharing Programs Improve Street Life
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  7. NYC Bike Share Launches — Thoughts From NYC & The Interwebs

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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