Reimagining Interstate Rights of Way Could Bring Energy Boon

Government Technology: All of that land between interstate exits and the highway doesn’t have to only prop up billboards; it can also be a source of renewable energy.

Solar installations at interstate exits have the potential to generate some 36 terawatts of energy per year — which equals about 1 percent of U.S. electricity consumption — according to a report by the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas in Austin. The mapping tool was developed in partnership with The Ray, a section of Interstate 85 in Georgia that is often a site for testing innovations in highway technology. About 127,500 acres of rights of way — about 200 miles of interstate frontage — are suitable for these types of solar installations.

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