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Project Profile: Veterans' Glass City Skyway Solar Array

Veterans' Glass City Skyway Solar Array  - Toledo, Ohio

photo credit: Ohio Department of Transportation

Location

Toledo, Ohio

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Ohio Department of Transportation

Program Areas

Value Capture

Mode

Highway - Ancillary Systems

Description

In Summer 2010, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) partnered with the University of Toledo to create the state's first large-scale solar array on highway right-of-way. The research project was meant to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of installing solar arrays in right-of-way areas.

The solar array occupies four acres on I-280, south of Central Avenue, north of Greenbelt Parkway, and west of Galena Street in the City of Toledo. The project, with solar panels made by Ohio solar manufacturers, generates electricity to offset the power used by the lighted pylon of the Veterans' Glass City Skyway (Toledo Skyway Bridge) that carries I-280 across the Maumee River.

At the time of construction, the solar array was estimated to produce 131,000 kWh annually, leading to annual savings of approximately $15,000. For context, it cost ODOT $20,000 annually to power the bridge's pylon and highway lighting from the main span to the Greenbelt Parkway.

Cost

$1.5 million (plus $500,000 research cost)

Funding Sources

Project Cost

  • Federal grant - $1.5 million

Research Cost

  • ODOT contribution - $250,000
  • University of Toledo - $250,000
Project Delivery / Contract Method

Direct Procurement and Ownership

Private Partner

None

Project Advisors / Consultants

First Solar, LLC and Xunlight Corporation - Solar panel manufacturers

University of Toledo Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Departments - Project research

Lenders

None

Duration / Status

Construction began in July 2010 and was completed in December 2010

Financial Status

Closed

Innovations
  • Initiated as a research exercise with the University of Toledo, the project was the first solar array on highway right-of-way in Ohio.
  • After the implementation of the solar array, the University of Toledo conducted a study over the next two years to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of installing solar arrays in additional rights-of-way.
Related Links / Articles

Veterans' Glass City Skyway Page

Fact Sheet

Press Release

News Article - The Blade (October 28, 2010)

University of Toledo Transportation Center

Contacts

Patrick McColley, PE, SI
ODOT District 2 Deputy Director
Tel: (419) 353-8131

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