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

SOURCE: Ray C. Anderson Foundation

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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 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.  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.  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

About The Ray

The Ray is a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future with the mission to build a zero carbon, zero waste, zero death highway system. It begins with the 18-mile stretch of interstate named in memory of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a Georgia native who became a captain of industry and was recognized as a leader in green business when he challenged his company, Interface, Inc., to pursue zero environmental footprint. Chaired by Ray’s daughter Harriet Langford, The Ray is an epiphany of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Learn more at http://www.theray.org

About Southwire

A leader in technology and innovation and an emerging influence in the industrial electrical space, Southwire Company, LLC is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment and hand tools. For more on Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit southwiresustainability.com.

CONTACT:

Meredith Stinson, The Ray
770-851-5672
meredith@theray.org

Tweet me: .@Southwire recently made a $10,000 match contribution to @TheRayHighway, initiating an ongoing partnership to continue mutual #sustainability goals & find innovative solutions to power the nation’s transmission grid and distribution of #renewableenergy. http://bit.ly/3ad7NVv

KEYWORDS: Southwire, Ray C. Anderson Foundation, The Ray, microgrids, HVDC transmission

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