Solar Roadways, a company we’ve featured in the past, received a $750,000 grant to build a parking lot paved with solar panels. The grant was issued by the Federal Highway Administration. Solar Roadways has built a prototype road in Idaho that was made up of solar panels, heating elements, and a grid of wireless LED lights encased in durable glass that has the same traction as asphalt. It can withstand the weight of the largest semi-truck trailers on the road. These solar road panels generate a total of 7.6-kilowatt hours of electricity per day that can be used to melt snow and ice, spell warnings for motorists, or flash cross walks for pedestrians that are activated once someone enters the roadway. These solar roads can also be connected to an electric grid and provide power to homes and businesses. The parking lot will be built at Solar Roadways, and will be monitored and tested by the company. Results from the testing will be used to build future sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and eventually highways with this technology. One of the best features of these roads is that they do not use oil byproducts to be built. Panels can be individually replaced if need be. There will be no need to re-asphalt roads once this technology is put into play.
Photo Credit: Solar Roadways