Roads That Can Charge Cars??

Roads That Can Charge Cars??

Indiana has quite a collection of interesting projects underway relating to sustainable technology and other green innovations. There are several multi-million-dollar investments taking shape and the testing of advanced new tech that could one day be deployed all over the world. It’s all happening right here, right now. Check out some of the recent highlights.


Wireless Charging Highways

Indiana is pioneering the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement. The experimental highway segment is being brought to life by a partnership between INDOT and Purdue University.

The project will use magnetizable concrete that was developed by German startup Magment GmbH. This magnetized concrete will enable the wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.

Understandably, lots of nationwide entities are interested in this technology. Funding came from the National Science Foundation and other collaborators involved include universities, government laboratories, businesses, and other stakeholders developing next-generation charging technologies.

According to officials, phases 1 and 2 of the project will feature pavement testing, analysis, and optimization research conducted by the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

In phase 3, INDOT will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed at a location yet to be determined, where engineers will test the innovative concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operating at high power (200 kilowatts and above). Upon successful completion of testing of all three phases, INDOT will use the new technology to electrify a yet to be determined segment of interstate highway within Indiana.


Wind Farm Supporting Walmart and Facebook

A new wind farm in Randolph County is now supporting the operations of Facebook and Walmart with energy that will help the companies reach their sustainability goals. The two giants have established power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the 198-megawatt (MW) Headwaters II Wind Farm, which began commercial operations last summer.

Facebook’s 15-year PPA for 139 MW of power from Headwaters II will help the company meet its goal to support its operations with 100% renewable energy and reach net-zero carbon emissions.

Walmart’s long-term PPA is for 60 MW of energy from Headwaters II and advances the company’s goals to power its operations with 100% renewable energy.

In addition to supporting big business, Headwaters II Wind Farm creates significant contributions to the local community in the form of new jobs and revenue, including payments to landowners and local governments and an increase in money spent at local businesses nearby the project. The wind farm will also save more than 355 million gallons of water each year by generating electricity without requiring the large amounts of water consumed by traditional power plants.

This second phase of the wind farm joins the operational 200-MW Headwaters I Wind Farm. Both were developed by EDP Renewables North America.


Clean Hydrogen Production

Two companies are working on a project in West Terre Haute to help trucking operations make the transition to clean transportation fuels. Nikola Corporation is investing $50 million for a 20% equity interest in the clean hydrogen project being developed by Wabash Valley Resources LLC.

The project plans to use solid waste byproducts such as petroleum coke combined with biomass to produce clean, sustainable hydrogen for transportation fuel and electricity generation. The facility is also capable of capturing CO2 emissions for permanent underground sequestration.

Once completed, the project is expected to be one of the largest carbon capture and clean hydrogen production projects in the United States. The focus is to produce zero-carbon intensity hydrogen with the potential to develop negative carbon intensity hydrogen in the future. Also, Nikola intends to build stations across Indiana and the broader Midwest to serve the region.

The completed facility should have the capability to produce up to 336 tons per day of hydrogen, enough to generate approximately 285 megawatts of clean electricity. The project is expected to require 125 full-time employees and may support 750 construction jobs. Groundbreaking is expected in early 2022 and will take approximately two years to complete.


Changing the Future

These sustainable technology projects happening right here in Indiana could change the future. By helping more companies meet their sustainability goals, and by launching groundbreaking new innovations in green infrastructure, the Hoosier state is literally at the forefront of the emerging energy economy. This is great for business and great for the planet, which is a huge win for Hoosiers.

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