First Large-Scale Solar Road Opens in France

By Gary Cutlack on at

Normandy village Tourouvre-au-Perche has finished building what it calls the world's first solar embedded road, which is a bit wrong as there have been some small ones created before -- but this is definitely the first big proper one that goes all the way off into the distance like that.

The regional powers approved the build of the 1km stretch of enhanced tarmac, which now includes 2,800 square metres of solar panelling as part of its spec list. Several sheets of silicon have been layered over the top of the cells to protect them from wear and tear and to add grip to the surface, with the hope being that the system might provide enough power to run local street lights in the village.

It cost cost €5m (£4.2m) to build the Wattway system out there in the real world, so those will definitely be the world's most expensive-to-operate light bulbs for the duration of the two-year trial of the technology. [Mashable]

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