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LA Metro will power its trains on recycled kinetic energy

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LA Metro
LA Metro

The Los Angeles Metro will begin capturing and repurposing the kinetic energy of its own trains, thanks to a new $3.6 million contract with energy company VYCON. The new system will use flywheel technology to store energy generated by braking trains that enter the Westlake and MacArthur Station and use it to power their acceleration as they depart. VYCON claims this system will help reduce energy consumption and lowering power demands during peak train hours. The LA Metro already generates two megawatts using solar power according to project manager Frank Castro, but this new Wayside Energy Storage Substation (WESS) will add another two megawatts to the system. However, this isn't the first use of flywheel technology for public transit — similar systems have been used in New York's Long Island Rail Road, by Parry People Movers in Britain, and even in certain cars like Audi's R18 e-tron Quatto.