Between 11,500 and 51,000 vehicles drive on California freeways and expressways every day.
Energy Harvesting Journal posted earlier today that California Assemblyman Mike Gatto has proposed a bill that would require the state to use piezoelectric technology on its highways. The technology generates electricity from the vibrations on the road that are created by passing vehicles.
The examples Gatto give are its implementations on stretches of highway in Italy and Israel but he doesn’t mention the name of the company behind the technology used in the two countries. The company is Israel’s Innowattech, which also created a version of its technology for rails of railways.
If the proposed bill is passed, Caltrans, which is in charge of California’s roadways, would be required to use some of its budget to run two pilot projects, one in Northern California and one in Southern California, according to Energy Harvesting Journal. The power generated can then power road signs or the grid.
According to CAHighways.org, 11,995.50 miles are in California’s Freeway and Expressway system and between 11,520 to 51,773 vehicles use them every day.
If Innowattech is selected for the pilots, that could be the company’s big break. Aside from Innowattech’s deal in Italy last May, it has been quiet on additional deals it has signed since. Its railpad technology has drawn considerable attention on the Internet but it is yet to be determined if it has also generated any sales. It also faces competition from East Japan Railway Co.
Several Israeli solar companies have been building solar plants in California to help generate electricity to power part of the grid. One company, BrightSource Energy is building the largest solar power plant in the world. Upon completion it is expected to power 140,000 homes. Last October it was praised by President Obama in a weekly address.
Image via richardmasoner.