geoAMPS Blog

'Effective control' of outdoor advertising with technology

knapsack / flickr

By Yogesh Khandelwal and Dan Liggett

Advertising billboards, for better or worse, are part of the American landscape. Commonly seen from our many miles of interstates and national highways, billboards are considered an essential marketing tool of business. Some motorists feel they provide useful information, while others regard them as eyesores or unnecessary distractions from the nation’s natural beauty.

As usage and popularity of billboards began to escalate in the 1950s, the federal government took initial steps toward regulation. Signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, commonly known as the “Bonus Program,” was an incentive for states to establish control of ODA within 660 feet of the right of way along interstates. States that did so received an additional one half of one percent of their interstate construction costs.

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Federal FAST Act provides transportation funding

                                Washington State Department of Transportation / flickr

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed by Congress in December 2015, authorizes $281 billion in federal funds for highway, transit and highway safety programs over five years. Combined with state and local matching dollars, the nation now has a substantial sum for much needed transportation improvements.

FAST Act is a fully paid-for reauthorization of federal highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials and passenger rail programs.

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Alternative gets a boost

It’s no secret that over the last few years the alternative energy industry has faced challenges. From new and developing technologies, special interest groups and government feuding, there have been tense moments during which the future of the industry seemed uncertain. This past week, though, another tally was added to the win column of the industry's scorecard as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) were both extended as part of the $1.8 trillion package sent to President Obama's desk for signature.

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Season of giving continues

Each year the geoAMPS team takes part in the Central Ohio Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program, bringing the spirit of Christmas to those less fortunate by giving generously to an area family in need.

The geoAMPS team donated gifts to make the Christmas season brighter for

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geoAMPS raises money for fight against cancer

Members of the geoAMPS team participated in No-Shave November and raised pledges of $1,539 to support the American Cancer Society.

No-Shave November is a Web-based, non-profit organization devoted to growing cancer awareness and raising funds that go toward preventing cancer, saving lives, funding research, educating, and assisting those fighting cancer.

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PTC renewal could stimulate wind energy development

Denzil31 / flickr

Wind farm developers in the United States may want to gear up planning for new projects, as action in Washington to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) could come before year’s end. The PTC has provided incentive for a dramatic increase in wind farms and growth of the wind energy industry. That growth has resulted in greater wind energy capacity since the PTC was established.

The PTC, however, was allowed to expire at the end of 2014. There is new legislation in Congress that would extend the PTC. It received strong bipartisan support in the Senate Finance Committee in May. Now, Marika Fredriksson, Chief Financial Officer of Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, told Reuters that she believes Congress will approve an extension of the PTC in December 2015.

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Energy storage critical to development of renewables

flickr / Portland General Electric

Common criticisms of widespread development and utilization of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power, are that power is only being generated when the wind blows and the sun shines. Critics claim these facts in nature result in unreliability of renewable sources of energy.

But there is a technological response to this criticism: energy storage systems. Recognizing that there are downtimes of power production when the wind isn’t blowing or after the sun has set, researchers have been hard at work for some time developing systems that will store energy so it will be available to the grid on a 24-hour basis.

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Implementing an alternative energy asset management system

Increasing responsiveness and maximizing resources are important factors in how alternative energy companies improve their business in today’s data-driven, performance-based markets. The ability to deliver projects on time and within budget is one measure of that performance. Another is how efficiently operations and maintenance are managed and achieved. The effective delivery and maintenance of property and assets are fundamental to achieving a company’s objectives in any project that involves real land assets and property stakeholders. A well designed and implemented land asset and royalty management system can substantially improve these capabilities.

Major benefits of an alternative energy management system can be found throughout the lifecycleof a project.This blog will briefly review the benefits that an alternative energy management system will achieve when implemented properly.

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Ways to simplify ongoing payments for wind farms

In the development and operation of a wind farm, several issues enter the discussion quickly, issues that are critical to determining project costs. These issues include availability of wind, siting of the wind farm and its turbines, land use in the area, transmission of the electricity to the power grid, access roads, and power generation capacity of the turbines.

But there is another issue that gets little attention outside the wind industry world. Managing lease and royalty payments to landowners can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive task. Absent an effective strategy and the right technology, wind companies struggle with this necessary aspect of doing business.

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How to navigate changing winds in tax credits debate

Delta Wind Farm / flickr

The Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit have been political footballs in recent years. Extensions have been approved, then left to expire, brewing uncertainty within renewable energy industries.

This remains the case. This summer, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted 23-3 to extend a number of renewable energy tax credits through the end of 2016. That measure would allow developers of wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydroelectric and ocean energy to take advantage of federal tax credits for projects begun before Dec. 31, 2016. Among those are the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC). If passed, wind farms could receive a 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour credit through the end of 2016.

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Return on Investment for geoAMPS Land Management Software