A man in California has devised an innovative method of generating ‘green’ power from passing trucks that drive up and down busy highways the world over. Inventor Terry Kenney came up with the idea of using the kinetic energy of a truck barreling down a highway to compress a tank of hydraulic fluid located in plates on the road surface. This would create a pumping action that could turn a generator and produce electricity.

Kenney has already set up a scale version of the system at the Port of Oakland and plans to start full testing by June, Reuters reports. He predicts the system will be able to generate 5,000 to 7,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day from local traffic (about 2,500 passing trucks), which would be enough to power close to 1,750 homes.

The set-up consists of a number of wide and sturdy plates that contain the hydraulic fluid and are connected to a generator by the side of the road. The plates are designed to be able to withstand trucks weighing up to 180,000lbs and there are even plans for smaller units to capture energy from passenger cars.

The system will initially be used to help power Oakland terminal operator SSA, although it will only cover about 5% of the firm’s energy needs. Kenney is now seeking funding to help commercialize the project.