Idea Center

A Solar-Powered Highway

It takes 45 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to run Oregon's state transportation system -- power that comes mostly from non-renewable sources. Change is underway, however,...
by | October 1, 2008
 

It takes 45 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to run Oregon's state transportation system -- power that comes mostly from non-renewable sources. Change is underway, however, as the state Department of Transportation is rolling out its first-in-the-nation solar-panel project along a major highway. By December, a row of solar panels about 5 feet wide and two football fields long will be generating about 28 percent of the 400,000 kilowatt hours needed to light the Interstate 5-205 interchange at night. The "all Oregon" effort is a public-private partnership using Oregon companies to suppy materials, design the project and install the panels. This project will generate less than 1 percent of ODOT's annual energy use, but the department will start seeking proposals for similar projects early next year to generate about 4.5 percent of its energy needs. To learn more about the $1.3 million project, visit www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OIPP/inn_solarhighway.shtml.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Idea Center