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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 40-11
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

FHWA Administrator Joins in Groundbreaking for Baldock Solar Highway

Largest solar highway project in the nation to power I-5 rest area

PORTLAND – Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined state and local officials here today in breaking ground on the Baldock Solar Highway project which will place solar panels along Interstate 5 to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power the rest area south of Wilsonville in Clackamas County.

"The Baldock Solar Highway project is a great example of how the Obama Administration is promoting alternative energy sources," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "With the Baldock Solar Highway project, we are using innovation in transportation to help protect our environment."

The solar panels will produce approximately 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy each year, enough electricity to fully power both north- and south-bound Baldock Safety Rest Areas. The solar site is located on a seven-acre parcel in the rest area. It is only the second such project in the United States and when it is completed, the Baldock Solar Highway will be the largest project of its kind in the nation.

"Finding sources of renewable energy is in everyone's interest and is consistent with sound transportation policy," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. "Not only are we saving taxpayer dollars, but this is another way we are working to win the future."

The Baldock project follows the I-5/I-205 interchange in Oregon, the first operational solar highway in the nation. The Federal Highway Administration assisted the Oregon Department of Transportation in the design, environmental review and issues related to the right-of-way and traffic control.

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