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France Opened the First Solar Roadway Built For Cars

A bike path in the Netherlands has been generating solar power since 2014, but the first example of a solar roadway built for cars opened this week in France.
December 23, 2016, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"France has opened what it claims to be the world’s first solar panel road, in a Normandy village," reports Kim Willsher.

"A 1km (0.6-mile) route in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche covered with 2,800 sq m of electricity-generating panels, was inaugurated on [December 22, 2016] by the ecology minister, Ségolène Royal," adds Willsher.

According to Willsher, the solar roadway "cost €5m (£4.2m) to construct and will be used by about 2,000 motorists a day during a two-year test period to establish if it can generate enough energy to power street lighting in the village of 3,400 residents."

France made news in January of this year by announcing an ambitious solar roadway program—planning to build 621 miles of roads with solar panels. In the metric system that equals about 1,000 kilometers, or one in every 1,000 kilometers of roadway in the entire country.

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Published on Thursday, December 22, 2016 in The Guardian
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