CURBED staffer Lauren Ro reports that the world's first solar panel road has opened in France.
The project spans the length of one kilometer in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy. Dubbed Wattway, the road is covered in 2,800 square meters of photovoltaic panels, and cost about $5.2 million to construct. It will be used by about 2,000 motorists per day during a two-year trial period, and is hoped to generate enough energy to power all of the street lights in the town of 3,400 residents.
France’s ecology minister Ségolène Royal inaugurated the road on December 22, and the panels were created by Colas after a five-year development period. The pavers were first tested at four parking lots across the country. If successful, Wattway and other solar panel roads could pave (pun intended) the roadway of the future.
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