The French town of Tourouvre-au-Perche has opened the world’s first solar road. The 0.6 mile long road consists of 2,880 solar panels. This road is a test to see how much electricity will be generated over a course of two years. It is estimated that 2,000 vehicles will travel over the road. Because vehicle weights vary, construction crews covered the solar panels in a coating containing silicon.
If this experiment works out, it is believed that the power generated by this road (which has been given the name “Wattway”) could eventually power the street lights in this French town.
This project is part of the French government’s plan to build over 621 miles of solar panel roads over the course of the next five years. However, many people are concerned over the amount it will cost to build all these roads. The small “Wattway” road cost over $5.2 million to build. Other concerns are that weather (such as snow) and traffic could block the sunlight to the panels, causing them to not work efficiently.