Oregon has designed a Solar Highway, capable of producing 128,000 kWh of electricity per annum. The energy generated helps run the state’s transportation system by providing electricity for signals, illumination, buildings, ramp metering and more.
The 104 kilowatt ground-mounted solar array, situated at the interchange of Interstate 5 and Interstate 205, supplies about one-third of the energy needed for illumination at the site. It is a federally designated Corridor of the Future. Solar energy produced by the array feeds into the grid during the day. At night, the meter essentially runs backward as energy flows back from the grid to light the interchange.
Oregon companies supplied the materials, designed, installed, and now operate and maintain this first-of-its-kind project, which showcases what can be accomplished through creative, responsible partnering in the public and private sectors.
This shows a creative use of roadside land – possibly the best use for an otherwise unusable vast stretches of land. The output potential for roadside solar arrays is enormous. A productive use of state-owned ‘unproductive’ land that with the right planning and operation could achieve many power generation goals.
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