Renewable Energy at Rest Area Assessment
Under 1 year
This project would evaluate the required attributes of highway rest areas for renewable energy generation, storage and utilization. MAP-21 has provisions making the sponsorship of renewable energy facilities at rest areas more likely or possible than ever before. The proposed research project would analyze available information for selected rest areas (select a model site per state/region?), such as: highway access, seasonal usage, square footage, date of construction, type of construction, use patterns, and proximity to national parks, communications towers or other potentially significant sources of interferences, as well as linkage to major electrical transmission lines that could provide convenient interconnections to the electricity grid. The analysis would result in development of a suitable site profile and of guidance for different scales of renewable energy projects at rest areas. The site profile and/or guidance would be based upon a set of criteria that could include minimum requirements for natural resource availability, site acreage, distances from travel lanes, distance from residences and other development, construction and maintenance access, electrical interconnection points, as well as environmental and other pertinent constraints.
The research would potentially assist state DOTs reduce life cycle cost for renewable energy facilities, conceptualize sustainable and renewable actions and features relevant to highway rest areas, improve the visitor experience, and reduce GHG emissions and energy use.
June 4, 2015
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