A Highway That Will Produce Power Instead of Roadkill

first_img Soon, you’ll be able to get your renewable energy kicks on Route 66. Seriously.As part of its “Road to Tomorrow Initiative,” Missouri’s Department of Transportation is partnering with Idaho-based startup Solar Roadways. The plan is to cover an as-yet undetermined amount of pavement at the historic Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway, Mo., with road-ready solar panels that generate electricity.“We expect them to be in place, I’m hoping, by the end of this year, maybe before snow flies,” initiative leader Tom Blair recently told the Kansas City Star. Blair says the state will turn to crowdfunding in hopes of ponying up the money to put this plan in motion.Image credit: Solar RoadwaysRelated: This Car-Swallowing Contraption Is Actually a Futuristic City BusIn 2009, the team behind Solar Roadways received a $100,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to help build a prototype. The company has since received a pair of $750,000 research grants from the U.S Department of Transportation. On top of that, the group raised more than $2 million with its own crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.That’s some serious moola.Covered in tempered safety glass, Solar Roadways’ forthcoming panels do more than collect the sun’s energy. They also can come with LED lighting to effectively replace road lines and signage. Since the panels are modular, Solar Roadways says replacing damaged sections will be less expensive and troublesome than re-paving entire stretches of highway with traditional asphalt.Related: VR Startup Magic Leap Wants You to Save a Seat on the Couch for C-3POWhile solar panel-covered roads have been criticized by some, projects from elsewhere around the world have produced some optimistic results. June 23, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min readcenter_img Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img

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