The Pennsylvania turnpike is going electric. New solar panels are being installed to power maintenance and office buildings as part of a long-term goal for electric vehicle charging stations along the state highway. This will be the first of many solar fields that are being installed across the state. This is one of Pennsylvania’s plans to help the state wean off of fossil fuels using solar power.
In the town of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, over 3,000 solar panels have been installed to get this project going. The overall goal is to create a microgrid for when the highway is ready for EV charging stations to be installed and the EV chargers will get their electricity from the solar panels. Then, parts of the turnpike will be running fully off of electricity.
This project is going to span the next 18 months with millions of dollars in its budget. The Pennsylvania Turnpike will also be working with Ohio Turnpike to create EV charging stations powered by solar panels within the next 5 years. There are designs being made so EV drivers don’t even have to stop to charge, all they will have to do is drive over specific parts of the highway that have the ability to charge their vehicles.