Harvesting Highway Winds

Both Green Car Congress and Sustainability Zone point to a Canadian experiment with setting up wind turbines along major commuter highway 401. From Canada’s CBC News:

A college in Toronto is exploring the idea of harnessing the power of Canada’s busiest highway to create electricity.

The wind-tunnel effect created by the hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks that travel Highway 401 each day makes Centennial College‘s Scarborough campus an ideal location for a small wind turbine to feed power back to the school.

To test the potential, engineers have raised a 30-metre tower designed to measure wind speed in the area.

If the results look good, drivers could see a new windmill as soon as next summer, says Matt Vonarburg, one of the engineering students who proposed the idea.

This sounds very promising. I have to wonder when the criticisms will start rolling in, though, about the fact that this wind is largely fossil-fuel generated. Does such an idea provide yet another argument for a more forceful shift to biofuels? Also (and this is an opening), how would wind power critics respond to such a development?

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