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SESSION: ALTERNATIVE USES OF RIGHTS OF WAY. Highway Right-of-Way use for carbon sequestration, biomass production, and energy efficient lighting. By: David Ponder, Good Company.

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SESSION: ALTERNATIVE USES OF RIGHTS OF WAY

Highway Right-of-Way use for carbon sequestration, biomass production, and energy efficient lighting

By: David Ponder, Good Company

As state DOTs seek solutions to funding issues and enhance environmental outcomes, they have begun to explore opportunities to leverage their assets for sustainability value creation. One potential opportunity is the utilization of highway rights-of-way to for renewable energy development or the cultivation of vegetation for carbon sequestration and biomass feedstock generation. There is also significant opportunity for sustainability value creation from investments in energy efficiency particularly in roadway lighting. This presentation will summarize the finding of two recent research projects that considered these opportunities in detail.

The first, NCHRP 25-35, Guidebook for Designing and Managing Rights of Way for Carbon Sequestration and Biomass Generation, evaluated the technical and financial aspects of carbon sequestration and bioenergy feedstock generation projects in the right-of-way. The second, Opportunities On The State Highway System To Generate Revenue Or Offset Expenditures For The State Of Florida evaluates the technical and financial feasibility of a number of sustainability value creation project types including solar photovoltaic energy systems and LED highway lighting.

The presentation will include discussion of agency management considerations and policy frameworks affecting implementation, evaluation of cost-effectiveness and market prerequisites, and the potential for public-private partnerships. The presentation will also review the decision support tools for DOT personnel developed for these research projects.

David Ponder offers technical and market research and analysis in service of Good Company’s clients in the transportation and energy infrastructure sectors.  He recently completed research assesing the opportunity for renewable energy generation, carbon sequestration, and value extraction in highway rights-of-way for Florida DOT and NCHRP.  David is the primary author of the Oregon DOT guidebook to developing Solar in the ROW and was instrumental in analysis for the development of Oregon’s Solar Highway Program.  David has lead the the firm’s work for a municipal electric and water utility to produce annual sustainability reports and annual greenhouse gas inventories of its operations and power resource portfolio.  Prior to joining Good Company, David served as a research analyst at the Appalachian State University Energy Center, and directed the Montana Public Interest Research Group for 5 years. 

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Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights of Way: A Review of Carbon Sequestration, Bioenergy Feedstock & Energy Efficiency OpportunitiesTransportation Research Board Committee ADC60Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure WorkshopJune 17, 2014David Ponder, Associate, Good Company

overview
Overview
  • Review findings from two recent research reports
    • NCHRP 25-35 Designing and Managing Rights-of-Way for Carbon Sequestration and Biomass Generation
    • Opportunities on the State Highway System to Generate Revenue or Offset Expenditures for the State of Florida

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

our firm
Our firm

Good Company

  • Sustainability research and consulting firm
  • Mission-driven, for-profit
  • Industries
    • transportation
    • civil infrastructure
    • clean energy and fuels
    • public agencies

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

nchrp 25 35
NCHRP 25-35

Carbon sequestration and bioenergy feedstocks

  • While technically feasible constrained by:
  • Safety and other considerations
    • Clear zone and access control
  • Limited market opportunity for commodities
    • Carbon offsets (protocols not intended for ROW)
    • Bioenergy feedstock (commodity value chain)
  • Poor financial performance
    • Carbon (carbon prices $5-$10/ tonne)
    • Bioenergy (higher costs, lower yields in ROW)

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

safety and other considerations
Safety and other considerations

Reduces available ROW and increases costs

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

safety and other considerations1
Safety and other considerations

DOTs should consider these as well

  • Asset management
    • Need to avoid conflict with existing and future infrastructure
  • Environmental impact
    • Need to balance project benefits against potential impacts (e.g. noxious weeds, water quality, GMOs)
  • Regulatory and policy issues
    • Business models, FHWA approval

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

carbon offsets
Carbon offsets

Terrestrial carbon sequestration

  • Carbon cycle
    • Above-ground biomass
    • Below-ground biomass
  • Enhanced through
    • Avoiding removals
    • Increasing number of plants
    • Boosting soil organic matter
  • Can mitigate CO2 levels in atmosphere

Courtesy: TERC

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

carbon offsets1
Carbon Offsets

Markets and quality standards

  • Voluntary versus compliance market
    • Compliance: smaller market, higher prices
    • Voluntary: larger market, lower prices
  • Offset quality
    • Real (ongoing monitoring)
    • Additional (Δ beyond current practice)
    • Independent (3rd party verification)
    • Enforceable (contract)
    • Permanent (min. 100-yr commitment, buffer pool)

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

carbon offsets2
Carbon Offsets

Key takeaways

  • Potential projects limited by
    • Protocol requirements and restrictions
    • Limited demand and weak pricing for offsets
    • Safety and long-term asset management concerns
  • Conditions to monitor
    • Protocol development and revisions
    • Carbon policy and offset prices

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks
Bioenergy feedstocks

Biomass for heat and power

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks1
Bioenergy feedstocks

Short rotation woody crops

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks2
Bioenergy feedstocks

Short rotation woody crops

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks3
Bioenergy feedstocks

Biomass for liquid fuels

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks4
Bioenergy feedstocks

Oilseeds

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks5
Bioenergy feedstocks

Oilseeds

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

bioenergy feedstocks6
Bioenergy feedstocks

Key takeaways

  • Potential projects limited by
    • Supply chain logistics
    • Geography of the ROW
    • High production costs relative to feedstock prices
    • Safety and other management concerns
  • Conditions to monitor
    • Emerging technologies
      • Fossil fuel prices

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

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FDOT

Energy efficiency from LED lighting

  • One of three concepts examined
    • also looked at solar PV and haying
  • LED Lighting
    • Saves energy, reduces GHGs
    • Cost-effective
    • Adaptive controls, increase energy savings
    • Safety co-benefit

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

led lighting
LED Lighting

Potential roadway applications

led lighting1
LED Lighting

Financial analysis

Comparison of Scenarios and Simply Payback

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

led lighting2
LED Lighting

Potential business models

Utility

Incentives

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

led lighting3
LED Lighting

Key takeaways

  • Rapidly evolving technologies
    • Develop pre-qualified product lists
  • No national guidance, yet
    • WSDOT, MNDOT, CalTrans have specifications
  • Financing a challenge
    • Innovative business models exist

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way

thank you
Thank you

Questions and Discussion

David Ponder, Associate

65 Centennial Loop, Ste. B

Eugene, Oregon 97401

541.341.4663 ext. 214

david.ponder@goodcompany.com

TRB ADC 60: Sustainable Value Extraction from Highway Rights-of-Way