Los Angeles Metro, thanks to a $3.6 million contract with energy company VYCON, will capture and repurpose kinetic energy of their own trains. The new system is set to use flywheel technology, which will store energy generated by braking trains that enter the Westlake and MacArthur Station.
Once captured, it will use the energy to power their acceleration upon departure. VYCON claims that this new system will help reduce energy consumption, as well as lower power demands during peak train hours.
LA Metro already generates two megawatts using solar power, according to project manager Frank Castro. But this new Wayside Energy Storage Substation (WESS) will provide another two megawatts to the system. This is great to see, but it saddens me that it only involves a $3.6 million contract to get it going - for that money, every city in the United States should be incorporating this technology.