Middle Georgia launches Green Corridor initiative
Graphic courtesy of USGBC
Since July, MGCAC and USGBC have been discussing the goals of the Green Corridor proposal with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Georgia Power, to further Middle Georgia's recent progress in reducing emissions and improving ambient air quality.
The proposal includes:
- Reducing mobile emissions by offering incentives to construct EV chargers along the corridor.
- Minimizing idling.
- Incentivizing the use of various forms of renewable energy along the corridor.
- Encouraging widespread use of LED lights.
- Promoting more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly strategies for landscape management and vegetation control.
The initial focus is on areas served by Georgia Power, due to its community charging and business rebate programs. The goal is to have electric vehicle (EV) stations strategically placed in the Middle Georgia area, with priority given to sites that offer commercial opportunities (e.g., stores and restaurants) for travelers, as they charge their cars at Level 2 EV stations.
Geographically, the proposal envisions the boundaries of the Green Corridor starting at the southern boundary of Monroe County at Forsyth (Interstate 75, Exit 187), extending south to Mercer University Drive (Interstate 75, Exit 163) and east to Highway 96/Jeffersonville Road (Interstate 16, Exit 24). USGBC Georgia has recommended that EV stations be placed at each of these sites. Steps have already been taken to place a station at the entrance to Mercer University off of Exit 163.
Additional sites along I-16, I-475 and I-75 are also being explored, and MGCAC has recently agreed to provide seed money to take advantage of the Business Rebate Program offered by Georgia Power.
Looking toward the future of EVs, it would be beneficial for Georgia to seize the initiative for technological innovation by pioneering viable solutions for a greener environment, USGBC officials said. Some studies indicate that, after California and Washington, Georgia is the leader in promoting and selling vehicles running on alternative fuel. Nissan, Toyota and Tesla have already established themselves as robust proponents of EVs, and within two years GM, Ford and Hyundai expect to increase their production of EVs exponentially.
Companies: U.S. Green Building Council