The Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) has approved the installation of 1-MW solar project in the right-of-way along the Interstate 85 highway, the Ray C Anderson Foundation said on Wednesday.
The solar pilot project will be installed along The Ray in Troup County. In 2014, the state of Georgia renamed a stretch of Interstate 85 as the Ray C Anderson Memorial Highway and the foundation has committed to make that road a model for future transportation.
"I’m very excited about the potential of The Ray and its ability to demonstrate roadside solar as another form of alternative energy," said GPSC chairman Chuck Eaton.
The project will be owned by Georgia Power Co, with construction expected to be completed by December 2019. Potential benefits to the highway system, for instance, could include interstate lighting, the foundation said. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) issued a letter of support for the project during the comment period.
"This pilot with GDOT, the Georgia Power Company and the Georgia Public Service Commission will help us understand how we can use our roadsides for generating clean solar energy, at a competitive price, while keeping drivers safe," Harriet Langford, president of The Ray, said, noting that Georgia had much sunshine and much empty right-of-way.
According to the announcement, the renewables right-of-way project is the first of its kind in Georgia, while nationwide a half-dozen similar projects are operational.
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