Alsea Geospatial, Inc

Oregon's Solar Highway

The Oregon Department of Transportation's goal is to generate enough solar energy on sites built next to highways to offset 100% of its electricity usage.  To help achieve this goal, Alsea Geospatial, Inc. (AGI) was contracted to conduct a statewide GIS analysis identifing suitable sites and their potential power generation capacity.

Field of solar panels

Artist’s rendition of the proposed Baldock site south of Portland, Oregon.

Overview map of solar site

Working closely with ODOT staff, AGI created the methodology and software tools necessary to identify potential sites.  Factors included location, ownership, and physical and environmental characteristics.  AGI built the tools and data processing models that generated an initial database containing over 800 potential sites.  The tools were built using ESRI ArcGIS 9.3.1 Desktop, ArcGIS Server 9.3.1, Python 2.5, and the open source GDAL tools.  Deliverables to ODOT included the tools, results database and website.  Final results yielded approximately 400 potential sites statewide.