Alternative Uses of Highway Right-of-Way
Appendix B. Phone Discussion Guide
Phone Discussion Guide
- Concept / Technology Identification
- Provide a brief summary of the alternative fuel facility or renewable energy project.
- Where did the idea for the project originate? What is the story and rationale behind pursuing it?
- What stage is the project currently in? Could you rank the "Technology Readiness Level" – is this a demonstration of a new technology or a proven/sure bet?
- Policy / Regulations
- Are there enabling state regulations for the project?
- Can you briefly describe your state permitting process for renewable energy facilities?
- Were there any state/federal policies or regulations that were barriers to implementation?
- Design / Siting
- How did you know the selected location(s) was the right one? How would a DOT "know" it had a good location?
- Was an environmental analysis necessary? What class of action? Was the class of action due to location sensitivity or size of the project? Describe.
- Stakeholders and Public Involvement
- Who are the stakeholders that have been involved?
- Have public-private partnerships been necessary? Describe.
- How could public opinion during the initial stages be characterized?
- Who was responsible for installation?
- What considerations had to be made for construction (e.g., season? Was it like other DOT construction projects?
- Safety, Operations, and Maintenance
- How much electricity does the project generate (monthly/annually)?
- Have there been any unintended consequences of the project?
- Safety implications?
- Environmental management implications?
- Security implications?
- Maintenance/cleaning implications?
- How were costs estimated?
- From where did funding come?
- Are economies of scale expected?
- Best practice recommendations and lessons learned
- What advice would you give other DOTs looking to implement a similar project?
- What are future research needs in this area?
- Does your agency have plans for additional alternative energy projects in the ROW?
- Can you provide the names of other people who were involved in this project – other DOT staff involved, utility company, etc.?
Division Office Questionnaire
The Renewable Energy Technologies and the Use of Alternative Fuel Facilities in the Right-of-Way is a STEP research to develop information on accommodation of renewable energy technology and alternative fuel facilities. The Office of Real Estate Services would like to gather information about your States Right -of-Way and Utilities, laws and regulations to help identify where there may be opportunities or barriers to accommodating renewable energy technologies and alternative fuel facilities in the right-of-way.
- Does your State laws allow for the use of highway rights-of-way to accommodate public utility facilities as noted in the "Guidance on Utilization of Highway Right-of-Way" available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/real_estate/right-of-way/policy_and_guidance/guidutil_a.cfm?
- If so, is the accommodation of renewable/alternative energy facilities addressed in the State's Utility Accommodation Manual (UAM) or Plan?
- If not, are there plans to address alternative energy uses of the ROW with the UAM?
- Does your State characterize renewable energy facilities as utilities (i.e., in regards to the accommodation of utility facilities in the ROW)?
- When was the last update of the Utility Accommodation Policy?
- Are there any State laws that either allow or prohibit the generation of renewable energy within the highway ROW? If so, please cite the law(s).
- Does property interest in DOT-acquired ROW legally allow the application of renewable energy facilities if the following exist:
- Acquisition was of easement for highway use only? If so does underlying fee interest needs to be acquired or permission granted to allow construction of renewable energy facilities?
- Interest was condemned using eminent domain and does not grant legal authority to develop or use other than for highway use?
- Acquired interest has a reversionary right if not used for stated highway purpose?
- Can States' excess ROW or potential excess ROW be used for renewable energy facilities?
- If so, under what circumstances?
- Acquire excess land to natural or logical physical barriers for mitigation of property damages or social economic environmental mitigation?
- Does the DOT have custodial authority for land banked rail corridors, consider using for this purpose?
- If not, what are the barriers, and are there any activities underway to address these barriers?
- Has your state received any request(s) to use the excess ROW for renewable energy or alternative fuel facilities?
- Is your State pursuing or being encouraged to pursue any renewable energy projects in the ROW?
- Is there pending State legislation or executive orders from the Governors' office to develop more green/renewable energy resources?
Please provide an agency or contact names, and telephone numbers that can be used for follow-up.