A 16-mile stretch of I-85 in southwestern Georgia is offering a glimpse of a more sustainable road of the future — and the green jobs that come with it.
Known as The Ray, the stretch of road has several solar energy features, The project has already created some green jobs, with more on the way as plans develop. If it proves to be a success, it could be a producer of many more green jobs moving forward.
The Ray features photovoltaic arrays at its rest stop for electric vehicle charging stations. Portions of the road at the visitor center is also made up of solar paving material, which is being tested as a more sustainable pavement of the future. More solar energy panels and accessories are forthcoming, improving the stretch of highway’s sustainable impact, as well as producing energy revenue.
In our current infrastructure, our roads are nothing more than paths to drive on, not contributing to the environment or electrical grid, but The Ray aims to inspire a future where millions don’t need to be invested in this segment of the infrastructure. The goal is for the revenue created by the solar accessories to be enough to cover repairs and maintenance, as well as creating roadways that are much more environmentally friendly.
The portion of I-85 The Ray sits on was named for Ray Anderson, a green energy and green jobs pioneer in Georgia. The project is funded in large part by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation in a partnership with the late Anderson’s company Interface, the Georgia Conservancy, and Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture.
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