Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email
(WTOL) - The Ohio Department of Transportation is using solar power to light the way, one sign at a time.
"It is pretty simple. What you have is basically your solar panel, which collects all the energy from the sun, and then it travels down and is stored. That energy is then is used for the stop sign," said O-DOT spokesperson Theresa Pollick.
Illuminated stop signs are just one use of solar power. Traffic monitors and message boards are two others. The point is clear. "We're committed to the environment. We want to make sure we are looking at all different kinds of developing technologies, and it is important that everyone can see what exactly we are doing to support our environment and safety," said Pollick.
Using the sun and solar power at a busy intersection is a matter of safety. In fact, it is something that could save lives. Pollick tells us, "It's kind of been a growing process, and its going to continue to grow. We can see how it is going to be used. As technology changes, obviously you have to change with the times."
Future funding has already been granted to install solar panels near the Veterans Glass City Skyway. The green energy generated is expected to be more than enough to illuminate the bridges lighting needs.
"We are exploring what we estimate to be about a 100-kilowatt-hour installation along the I-280 right-of-way, and the possibility of generating energy through alternative means through photovoltaic cells," David DysardOhio Dept. Of Transportation.
That makes the skyway a beacon of green energy.