Solar energy in the highway right of way

At SSTI’s first Sustainability Directors Community of Practice meeting in June 2015, attendees discussed their states’ interest in siting solar and other renewable energy generation facilities in the highway right-of-way, but cited uncertainty regarding FHWA rules and unfamiliarity with the business side of renewable energy production as major hurdles. Since then, SSTI has organized several meetings to hear from states that have already implemented solar energy installations as well as FHWA personnel who are interested in furthering these types of projects.

DOTs have very limited resources available to explore projects falling outside of their core responsibility of providing safe and efficient transportation facilities. Learning from the experiences of those DOTs that have already worked through issues associated with renewable energy facilities in the ROW can enable agencies embarking on these projects to save time and money, and avoid potential pitfalls.

In this webinar, you can hear from Allison Hamilton, the Oregon Solar Highway Program Manager for ODOT; and Lily Oliver, Solar Photovoltaic Energy Program Manager at MassDOT about their states’ experiences with solar energy along highways. Rosemary Jones from the FHWA Office of Planning, Environment & Realty Personnel also joined us to answer questions about federal resources and support for these programs.

SSTI has also collected technical documents from five states that are in various stages of pursuing renewable energy projects. Those documents can be found here.

Download a PDF of the webinar slides.