Back in February of this year, we revealed France’s plan to install solar panels on 1,000 km of its roads. As part of that initiative, the country’s Minister of Environment Marie-Ségolène Royal recently unveiled what they are claiming is the world’s very first solar road. Extending over a distance of one kilometer, the pathway in the Tourouvre-au-Perche region is fitted with as many as 2,800 square meters of photovoltaic cells.
Based on an innovative new technology developed by French company Colas Wattway, the road is designed to power street lights in a village of over 3,400 people. In addition to five layers of toughened silicon, the developers covered the solar panels in resin to prevent any kind of damage. According to the team, the solar pathway is capable of producing nearly 280 megawatts of energy every year, given there’s ample sunlight during daytime.