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Harnessing hydropower technology and underutilized infrastructure to power our EV future.

image credit: America's Hydropower Highway
Adam Rousselle Sr.'s picture
CEO Renewable Energy Aggregators, Inc.

Adam Rousselle Sr. Chief Executive Officer, Renewable Energy Aggregators Mr. Rousselle is a senior executive in the bulk electric transmission sector and a recognized leader in advanced remote...

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  • Nov 22, 2021
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By Adam Rousselle

Nov 22, 2021

 

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently signed into law by President Biden will create the single largest investment in renewable energy technologies by the U.S. government. Electric power industry professionals and the broader utility sector are rightly excited about the new law’s investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure -- from roads to bridges, to rural broadband.

 

At Renewable Energy Aggregators (REA), we share this enthusiasm and are eager to help meet the law’s ambitious goal of accelerating America’s transition to electric vehicles by developing clean, reliable and secure energy. But this transition can only be achieved if the public and private sectors work together in partnership and cooperation. To that end, REA is urging the Federal Government to update regulations to allow for the construction of electric charging stations across the nation’s interstate highway system.

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Presently, Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations forbids the use of rest stops along the interstate highway system for EV charging. This prohibition is a massive barrier that will prevent the U.S. from leading the world into a renewable energy future. A sustainable network of EV charging stations is critical to the future of commercial transportation because it addresses the challenges of climate change and cybersecurity vulnerabilities to the electric grid. This urgent need is why REA is building America’s Hydropower Highway to provide renewable, clean and secure energy to power electric charging stations across the nation’s entire interstate highway system.  This Highway, backed by a broad-based coalition of renewable energy and engineering companies, funded with private equity, will use untapped water and abandoned land to power a new fleet of all-electric trucks and cars.

 

We must not allow this moment to pass without doing all we can to secure America’s clean energy future, and that includes reimagining where we have electric charging stations, and how they get their power.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 22, 2021

Presently, Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations forbids the use of rest stops along the interstate highway system for EV charging

What's the historical reasoning behind this? Seems like red tape for no real reason

Adam Rousselle Sr.'s picture
Adam Rousselle Sr. on Nov 22, 2021

Matt, you make a great point. Title 23's original restrictions on rest area concessions were well-intended. Their purpose was to keep drivers safe from structural changes to rest stops which could cause traffic patterns changes and accidents. With today's advanced engineering systems; we can ensure that our Nation's rest stops are both safe and productive. It is time for the Federal Government to simply authorize their use for EV Truck Charging and new concessions to support our fantastic Truck Drivers.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Nov 25, 2021

Adam,   Many rest stops are not near Hydro power dams. Hydro is great and needs to be updated. Here in Arizona we have 7 large Hydro dams that were built 50 years ago. They have not been updated with new more efficient equipment. 

As to the other issue of charging stations at highway rest stops. They may be miles from large power line and transformers. It is much better to locate the charging at near by shopping centers that have large power feeds and lot of things to do and places to eat. With todays longer range vehicles of 200-500 miles they can easily go to a nearby location with the power to meet charging demands. 

   A good example if Tesla with Super charging located in cities near food and other items. They have the power lines available and can keep the vehicles going on their long trips. Hotels and Motels also have reasonable Lever 2 chargers that can completely charge the vehicles over night.   

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 26, 2021

Adam, Title 23 was part of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which established the federal highway system. It was intended to prevent commercialization of rest stops that would take business away from truck stops and restaurants in towns near the highway.

Many of those towns and businesses were built specifically to serve travelers on the interstate highway system, and the revenue they would raise for states was an important factor in getting the FAHA passed in Congress. Some argue there would be no federal highway system, were it not for Title 23. So there is some historical justification for keeping the prohibition intact, not to mention conflicts which arise in regulation of interstate commerce.

Also, I would challenge the idea "untapped water and abandoned land" now exist anywhere in the U.S.

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