According to an estimate by Ray, there are more than 52,000 acres of empty roadside land in the continental United States that could be generating solar power: in the medians, beside the shoulders, in the centers of on- and off-ramps. With solar panels at all these sites, up to 36 tera-watt hours of energy could be generated. That would be enough to power 12 million passenger electric vehicles. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s sustainable highway project and mapping company ESRI have developed a free digital tool to help transportation departments plan solar projects. The tool finds the parcels of land where solar would work best, and planners can create a virtual model to make sure the installation would work. 

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