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SMUD Scraps Plan for Solar Highway

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 20, 2011

SMUD had hoped to use public lands along Highway 50 in Sacramento County for the Solar Highways project.  Two stretches of roadway would have been lined with  electricity-generating solar panels.   

The Utility finally cleared all of the hurdles it needed to put the project out for bid in August.

But, with those hurdles came increases in price, like road beautification and right of way requirements mandated by CalTrans.

SMUD received only one bid for the construction which was three times the price per kilowatt hour it is accustomed to paying.  Jim Shetler with the utility says they felt the bid was just too high a price to pay. 

SMUD's solar highways project was one of five renewable energy projects that received $5 million in federal funding, as authorized by Reinvestment  Act funds.  Shetler says SMUD has not spent any of that money, and will see if it might apply to use some of that grant money for other projects.

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