Solar Highways project in California cancelled

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) said it will not continue with the Solar Highways project, which aimed to install solar photovoltaic (PV) generation on publicly owned land along two spans of U.S. Highway 50 in Sacramento County.

“We believe that the lack of competition and the highly priced bid reflects the complex nature of locating this type of project on highway right-of-ways,” said SMUD Assistant General Manager of Energy Supply Jim Shetler. “Therefore, we believe that to move ahead with the project would not be prudent for our customers.”

The project had been in development since 2008, but faced lengthy federal, state and local environmental reviews and negotiations with Caltrans for lease agreements. In addition, only one bid for construction was received and SMUD said that bid was “extremely high” compared to other bids for similarly sized projects.

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