The world’s first solar road has finally been opened in France, in Tourouvre au Perche in Normandy -a not-very-sunny village. This highway is only 1 km long and it still features 2,800 square metres of photovoltaic cells. Hopefully, this is enough to power the street lights in the village.
Colas, a large Anglo-French construction company build this solar road. Apparently, the company has been working on this solar road tech for at least 5 years and they call it Wattway. They have tested their solar road in car parks several times but this is the first time they’re using it on an active road. Thus, the two-year test period officially starts to see whether the Wattway can withstand all that’s coming and produce the required amount of electricity.
But usefulness aside, the thing that’s most shocking about it is the crippling cost. According to Colas, the panels can be installed on top of an existing road because they are only few millimetres thinck. This does reduce the costs, however, the 1km road costs €5 million (£4.3m) to build. Check it out!