It looks like the idea is starting to spread, according to an article in today’s Corvallis Gazette Times. OSU’s Dixon Recreation Center has installed some new hardware to capture energy from 22 elliptical machines. These upgrades, the Center reports, will generate enough electricity to power a small, super-efficient home—3,500 kilowatt-hours per year.
It’s a small impact (using PGE’s peak power rate of 11 cents per kWh, it would save about $385 per year—and with a $15,000 price tag for the project, it would take about 39 years at current electricity rates to pay for itself), but the gym also has the ability to tie more machines to the grid in the future. Plus, while one gym might not solve our energy problems, it does show that OSU is making an effort to be innovative.