First solar array on Ohio highway planned for I-280Written by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
The first solar array on an Ohio highway will be installed along I-280 to provide power for the lighting on the Veterans Glass City Skyway in Toledo.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur with officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation and University of Toledo announced the $1.5 million federal project to install the first solar array within a highway right of way in Ohio.
“We will have the first solar highway in Ohio right here along I-280 in the shadow of the Veterans Glass City Skyway,” said Kaptur who called it the “Solar Skyway.”
“Our region is leading the way to energy independence and the creation of jobs in the alternative energy sector.”
Kaptur said that all products in the solar field will be manufactured and installed by local companies creating more jobs for the region.
The total cost of the project is $2 million with the $1.5 million in federal funds covering the construction of the solar arrays. Installation of the south-facing solar arrays on the northwest quadrant of I-280 near Central Avenue will begin in June.
“It’s a historic day in Ohio to announce the first solar installation on the highway to power the lighting on the Skyway bridge,” said David Dysard, deputy director of ODOT District 2 in northwest Ohio.
The solar array is expected to begin generating electricity to power the lighting for the center pylon and entire Skyway by the end of this summer. The 100-kilowatt utility grid photovoltaic system is designed to generate 280 kilowatt hours per day or 102,200 per year to provide electric power for lighting the bridge.
Two local solar firms, First Solar and Xunlight, will each provide a 50-kilowatt array with 198 solar panels, 3-feet by 17-feet in size, for the project.
An additional $500,000 in funds from O-DOT and UT will cover the cost of research to study the effectiveness of the solar array in this application, according to Rich Martinko, director of the UT Transportation Center.
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