To meet clean energy goals, everyone will need better transportation options

The proposed Green New Deal, like many local green energy and climate action plans across the country, aspires to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. SSTI has crunched the numbers in several cases, including for Hawaii’s Transcending Oil report, and found that ignoring the amount that people drive means even the most ambitious energy plans could fall well below their targets. But that also means focusing on those who drive the most—typically in far-flung suburbs with limited transportation options—and finding creative ways for them to reduce their impacts.

Right-of-way renewable energy resources available on SSTI website

The goal of SSTI’s recently created Renewable Energy in the Right of Way resource page is to facilitate the sharing of technical documents related to siting renewable energy — principally solar — projects in the highway ROW. It is a living repository of technical documents for state DOTs and others to use as examples as they develop their own ROW renewable energy projects.

Renewable Energy in the 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. In an effort to support these efforts and allow interested states to learn from others, SSTI has gathered the technical documents gathered here, under the headings below, comprise a living repository for state DOTs and others to use as examples as they develop their own ROW renewable energy projects.

New York City reducing number of garbage trucks on its streets

New York City took a big step last month in its efforts to reduce the number of garbage trucks on city streets when it signed a 20-year, $3 billion contract with the waste-to-energy firm, Covanta. The firm plans to send about 30 percent of the city’s solid-waste to power-generating incinerators using primarily barges and railroads. This will help the city move closer to its goals of improving solid waste management and reducing associated negative impacts as cited in PlaNYC 2030, New York City’s effort to plan for one million more residents and the resulting impacts on the city’s quality of life.

Alternative Uses of Highway Right-of-Way: Accommodating Renewable Energy Technologies and Alternative Fuel Facilities (USDOT and Volpe Center, 2012)

This report is intended to provide transportation agencies with information that will better enable them to consider the implications and evaluate the feasibility of implementing renewable energy and fuel options in the ROW. The findings …