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Texas State unveils 'Calories to Kilowatts'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
December 7, 2009

Texas State University-San Marcos will unveil the largest human power plant in the world 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Student Recreation Center on campus.

Calories to Kilowatts

In an attempt to foster greater awareness of environmental sustainability, the university has retrofitted 30 elliptical machines in the student recreation center to convert human exercise into electricity. Texas State is the first university in Texas to utilize this technology which converts human energy into electricity that is connected to the university power grid. The technology was developed by ReRev of Clearwater, Fla.

Joann Smith, vice-president for student affairs, Christopher Covo, Associated Student Government president, and John Montoya, environmental service committee chair, will briefly speak prior to a short demonstration by Texas State students.

ReRev has installed similar exercise machines in other universities and private establishments around the nation, but nothing of this magnitude. ReRev retrofit the elliptical machines at Texas State Dec. 3-4 for energy production.

The cost of the project is $19,750 and was paid for by Texas State’s environmental service committee and the Department of Campus Recreation with support from Associated Student Government.

A typical 30-minute workout will produce 50 watt hours of clean, carbon-free electricity. That is enough energy to power a laptop computer for one hour or a desktop computer for 30 minutes.

The media is invited to this presentation, as are students, faculty, staff and community members. For more information, call (512) 245-2392 or visit