The Ray and Southwire Announce Partnership to Enhance Energy & Highway Infrastructure

February 2, 2021

Southwire recently made a $10,000 match contribution issued to The Ray for Georgia Gives Day, securing a record-breaking year in contributions for The Ray’s Georgia Gives fundraising campaign. 

Georgia Gives Day is an annual day of giving in Georgia, dedicated to giving back to philanthropies and nonprofit organizations. The campaign falls on the national Giving Tuesday holiday, the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Southwire’s donation has launched a larger, ongoing partnership between the two Georgia-based organizations to continue their sustainability goals and find innovative solutions to power our nation’s transmission grid and distribution of renewable energy.

“We are excited to partner with The Ray on the future of electric energy and transportation,” said Axel Schlumberger, Southwire’s senior vice president of research and development. “We Deliver Power… Responsibly® is Southwire’s slogan, and the opportunities we see in the development of sustainable concepts and projects in these areas directly speak to our technical expertise and Southwire’s commitment to sustainable energy development. Working jointly with The Ray and industry partners will help us leverage the commitment and capabilities that we share.”

By 2030, a projected 18.7 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on U.S. roads, and the current electricity grid is underpowered to meet the demand of future energy needs. Expanding the grid is challenging; however, there are two opportunities to optimize the utilization of publicly owned interstate right-of-way (ROW) with the installation of renewable energy infrastructure. Including:

  1. 1. Highly-efficient, renewable energy microgrids for charging EVs could connect roadside solar panels directly to EV charging depots and future wireless EV charging lanes. This would reduce the distance energy has to travel and eliminate electric conversion losses between the existing Alternating Current (AC) grid and Direct Current (DC) sources of generation (solar) and load (EVs). 

  2. 2. Burying high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines along interstates increases the security and resilience of our grid, and creates a fast-moving, coast-to-coast market for balancing and delivering renewable energy resources, at a cost savings. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), every dollar invested in national HVDC grid infrastructure generates one to two dollars of net benefit to Americans through lower energy costs. 

“Interstate highway land is an under-leveraged asset,” said Harriet Anderson Langford, founder and president of The Ray. “We believe the right-of-way (ROW) can be put to greater use and holds the key to modernizing our energy grid, accelerating renewable energy generation and transpiration electrification. We are excited to partner with Southwire to begin the research we need to leverage each of our expertise in generating clean energy for clean vehicles, using infrastructure our DOTs already own.”

Buried lines create resiliency to extreme weather and grid terrorism while utilizing land the public already owns and creating an expansion strategy for grid capacity. To further examine the planning and implementation of the project, Southwire will supply The Ray with assistance from the following experts on their leadership and environmental teams:

  •    –   Axel Schlumberger – Senior Vice President, Research & Development 
  •    –   Stephen Spruell – Chief Engineer
  •    –   Marc Hall – Vice President, Renewable Technologies
  •    –   Sherif Kamel – Vice President, New Product Development
  •    –   Paul Sims – Senior Director, Remediation and Public Affairs
  •    –   Bo Quick – Senior Director, Sustainability & Environmental Partnerships

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https://www.southwire.com/blogs/the-ray

 

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