Strategic Energy Plan, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (October 2010). The AHTD Strategic Energy Plan (StEP) was established to comply with Executive Order 09-07 on the reduction of energy consumption and environmental impact of state agency operations. StEP, which is updated as of October 2010, describes recent achievements, current activities, and future programs to reduce energy and resource consumption in all areas of internal operations, construction, and maintenance. The plan specifically focuses on four elements: building operations, fuel consumption, computer power management, recycling in department operations and in construction and maintenance, and training and education for energy conservation.
Arizona DOT Testing Solar Powered Lights on Maintenance Vehicles, Arizona Department of Transportation (Nov. 20, 2011) ADOT is evaluating the use solar power to run emergency lights on maintenance vehicles, the agency said in a release highlighting recent energy efficiency initiatives. Currently, roadside crews must keep their vehicles running in order to use the emergency lights so that they are visible to drivers, wasting fuel and increasing emissions. ADOT currently is testing 37 vehicles equipped with solar powered lights to ensure they can run properly in different climates and temperatures.
Solar-Powered Bus Facility Opens Near Atlanta, Federal Transit Administration (Nov. 18, 2011). Officials from FTA and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) have announced the opening of the Laredo Garage solar-powered bus canopy near Atlanta. The 190,000 square foot facility features over 4,800 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof a shaded canopy to save fuel costs from air conditioning the buses parked in its 220 stalls. The project, which funded by a $10.8 million federal grant under the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, is anticipated to save the transit authority almost $160,000 in utility expenses annually.
Caltrans Energy Conservation Program – The purpose of this program is to study and implement cost effective conservation opportunities for any energy consuming activity within the agency. Projects include the ongoing upgrade of traffic signals with light-emitting diode technology and activities for “greening” the department’s vehicle fleet and equipment inventory.
Colorado Initiative Seeks to Reduce Energy Use, Greenhouse Emissions from Transport Sector, State Smart Transportation Initiative (Dec. 2, 2011). The Colorado Department of Transportation launched a collaborative effort in May 2011 with federal and state agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and rural planners to develop and implement strategies for increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation. The Colorado Energy Smart Transportation Initiative has adopted 10 “energy smart transportation” strategies to further those goals, including planning and project selection processes that take into account energy use, measures to accelerate the non-petroleum fuel supply infrastructure, fleet conversion to non-petroleum vehicles, and others. A summary of the initiative describes activities completed through November 2011.
Assessment of Colorado Department of Transportation Rest Areas for Sustainability Improvements and Highway Corridors and Facilities for Alternative Energy Use, Colorado Department of Transportation (March 30, 2011). This report identifies cost-effective strategies for CDOT highway maintenance managers to reduce operational costs and resource consumption, including implementing water and energy conservation practices, reuse and recycling of solid waste, and landscaping transition toward xeriscape practices. The report also examines the potential use of the CDOT right-of-way for alternative energy applications, including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower sources.
Michigan DOT Announces Solar-Powered Interchange Lighting Demonstration Project, Michigan Department of Transportation (Jan. 25, 2012). This project will install solar panels at a carpool lot at the East Beltline Ave. interchange in Grand Rapids to generate an estimated 106,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Electricity from the project will be fed into the grid during daylight hours to offset power used to light the interchange at night through a process called “net metering.”
Michigan DOT Awards Contract for Solar Energy Installations at Highway Rest Areas, Michigan Department of Transportation (Sept. 21, 2011). MDOT has entered into a contract with a renewable energy firm to develop and install three grid-connected solar energy systems at rest stops around the state. The project, which was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, is intended to help lower the department’s energy costs while demonstrating the feasibility and benefit of photovoltaic energy generation technologies. MDOT also estimates that the projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a combined 26 tons annually.
Alternative Energy Resources for the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri University of Science and Technology, HDR Engineering, Paragon Business Solutions and Missouri Department of Transportation (Jan. 2011). This report provides results of research to investigate environmentally friendly alternative energy sources that could be used by MoDOT in various areas, and to develop applicable and sustainable strategies to implement those energy sources. It recommends that MoDOT pursue the use of alternative energy sources in four main areas: wastewater treatment, LED roadway lighting, miscellaneous energy savings projects, and renewable solar/wind installations.
Guide for Optimizing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Roadway Lighting: Final Report, New York State Department of Transportation (June 2012). The New York State Department of Transportation has issued a report on the development of a guide to the retrofitting of street lights to provide effective lighting and also save energy. The report, prepared for NYSDOT by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, describes the guide development process, the purposes of the guide, and the analyses performed. The guide, intended for highway planners and designers who are not necessarily familiar with lighting, will be called “New Lighting Technologies and Roadway Lighting: An Informational Brochure.” The guide covers different roadway types and newer light source technologies.
Nation’s Largest Solar Highway Project Opens Near Portland, Oregon Department of Transportation (Aug. 23, 2012). The Baldock Solar Station, a 1.75 megawatt solar array at a rest stop on Interstate 5 south of Portland, is now open to visitors one year after breaking ground. The project is the largest solar highway installation in the country, consisting of almost 7,000 solar panels on seven acres of the Baldock Safety Rest Station near Wilsonville, Ore. The project, which is anticipated to produce 1.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, is part of ODOT’s Oregon Solar Highway, a public-private partnership with Portland General Electric to install solar panels on highway rights-of-way in the state.
Philadelphia Pilot Project to Store Energy from Subway Trains to Power Electric Grid, Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) (July 6, 2012). SEPTA has announced a pilot storage project that will capture, store, and reuse energy generated by subway train braking on Philadelphia’s Market-Frankford line. The project will employ a new “wayside” storage facility at the Letterly Substation in Kensington comprised of several large batteries to allow regenerative energy from the subway to be fed back to the power grid. In addition to an estimated 10 percent energy savings to SEPTA at the facility, the project will provide up to $250,000 in additional revenue through participation in the electricity frequency regulation and demand response markets.
Washington State DOT Begins Test of Adaptive LED System, Washington State Department of Transportation (Feb. 22, 2013). WSDOT plans to begin installing its first adaptive light-emitting-diode lighting (LED) systems, which will replace conventional highway light fixtures with LED fixtures, along a stretch of US 101 near Olympia. The adaptive LED system to be installed, part of a pilot project to test such systems for their cost savings potential and overall effectiveness, will allow operators to remotely control when the lights are turned on and off.
Transportation Energy for the Future: A Guide for Policymakers, National Conference of State Legislatures (March 20, 2012). This report, developed by the NCSL Task Force on Energy Supply, provides an overview for state policymakers of available options to address energy security and economic development while working toward a more diverse transportation fuel supply. The report covers issues including current and forecasted trends in oil imports and domestic production, natural gas as a transportation fuel, diesel technology and energy efficiency, and electric vehicle technology. The report also offers state policy options for increasing domestic fuel production and promoting fuel diversity.
Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium, U.S. Department of Energy. DOE’s Building Technologies Program supports efforts by this consortium of cities, utilities, and energy efficiency organizations to share technical data and experience related to LED street and area lighting demonstrations. The consortium has developed a Retrofit Financial Analysis Tool designed to help participants analyze the cost and return-on-investment of LED lighting projects, including savings in energy costs, maintenance, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs, Environmental Protection Agency (Feb. 7, 2012). EPA State and Local Climate Energy Program developed this guide to help local governments improve the energy efficiency of their municipal facilities and operations. Part of the Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, the guide provides guidance on planning, designing, and implementing energy efficiency improvement programs; engaging stakeholders; and identifying investment and financing options. Case studies are also included.
FHWA Peer Exchange Showcases Use of GIS Tools in Planning for Climate Change, Federal Highway Administration (Dec. 2, 2011). This report summarizes a September 2011 FHWA peer exchange on the use of GIS for climate mitigation and adaptation planning in state and regional transportation systems. The peer exchange included presentations by the Atlanta Regional Commission, Maryland State Highway Administration, New England Environmental Finance Center, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, and Washington State Department of Transportation. Participants noted that transportation agencies have adequate GIS tools, but lack sufficient climate change data to adequately use those tools.