On Wednesday, December 8, the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster held its annual Cleantech Innovation Awards in downtown Raleigh. ABB representatives were on hand for the in-person event as the company sponsored the Transportation category, one of a dozen awards recognizing public and private entities across a range of disciplines.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper received the Cleantech Champion award for his work building on the state’s cleantech transition. North Carolina was the first state in the Southeast to implement a renewable portfolio standard for utilities, Cooper noted, and is among the nation’s leaders in solar power installation. Other political awardees included NC Rep. John Szoka (R-NC45, Cumberland County), NC Sen. Dan Blue (D-NC14, Wake County) and NC Sen. Mike Woodard (D-NC22, Durham, Granville, Person Counties) who were recognized with the Cleantech Leadership Award for their support of the recently passed HB951, legislation that sets state goals for a 70% reduction in carbon emission by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
In his brief remarks, Gov. Cooper made sure to reference the recent announcement from Toyota that the company will build a $1.2 billion battery plant, bringing 1,750 jobs to the state. The rest of the awards covered a wide range of innovation initiatives.
The Charlotte area transit system (CATS) received the Equity in Cleantech award for its electric bus service targeting underserved neighborhoods. Longtime ABB research partner FREEDM Systems Center at North Carolina State University won the R&D award for its work in heavy vehicle charging, a partnership that included ABB and the New York Power Authority.
The ABB-sponsored transportation award went to the City of Raleigh for its “titanium-enhanced pavements pilot project.” The City worked with Pavement Technology Inc., the developer of an “asphalt rejuvenating” sealant infused with titanium dioxide. The material dramatically reduces heat buildup in pavement and mitigates tailpipe emissions of nitrogen oxides. When exposed to sunlight, titanium dioxide reacts with smog-causing compounds in the air, speeding up the oxidation process and breaking down the pollutants.
Raleigh’s pilot project found a reduction in nitrous oxides of 37% and an astounding 400% reduction in pavement heat, which could make a substantial impact on urban heat islands.
As a founding member or RTCC, ABB is proud to help put the spotlight on the people and organizations—both public and private—that are working to find solutions to our climate and environmental challenges. Kudos to all of this year’s Cleantech Innovation Awards.