From http://solarroadways.com/prototypeII.shtml

Current events getting you down? Wondering if we’ll ever solve so many of our biggest problems?

If you consider that so many of our problems stem from resource wars, particularly over energy, there are a few people out in Sagle, Idaho, that are preparing to show that they can make energy one less thing to fight over — and one less contributor to pollution and climate change.

The Solar Roadways folks, after many years and many trials, are finally putting the finishing touches on their Phase II demonstration project, their solar parking lot:

We are currently in our Phase II SBIR contract with the Federal Highway Administration. We’re building a 12-foot by 36-foot solar parking lot outside our engineering lab in Idaho. The parking lot will be fully functional, with solar cells, LED’s, heating elements, and the textured glass surface.

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Phase II tests performed on the glass so far:

Load testing
Traction testing
Impact resistance testing

The glass has exceeded all expectations and we’re really pleased with the results.

With the new shapes (see photo below), we’re now able to easily pave curves and hills. We won’t even mention the “coolness factor”!

In addition to providing energy, the Solar Roadways won’t require an ounce of asphalt, which comes from oil — another way they will cut back on our petroleum consumption.

As for other resources, the Solar Roadways team is investigating using recycled plastics to make their panels. Pulling that off would be killing two birds with one stone, as they say.

These guys just might save us all.