When I first heard about Scott and Julie Brusaw’s Solar Roadways idea five or so years ago, they were getting ready to apply for some grant money for research and development.
They got the money, from both private and public sources, and built a working prototype that not only collects solar energy, but used it to power heaters that kept it snow-free for all of a very snowy Idaho winter. (Considering they weren’t able to cover all of their hexagonal panels’ surfaces with solar cells, a problem that they will fix during commercial production, this is a remarkable achievement.)
The Brusaws’ planned roads won’t be just roads: They’ll be power generators, power transmitters, signaling and signage systems, and stormwater drainage systems. And also jobs providers, once the manufacturing and installing of them gets off the ground. (Which is why they’ve started a crowdfunding campaign: so they can get the manufacturing up and running and start work on their first commercial project, which will probably be a municipal space in Sandpoint, Idaho, not far from the Brusaws’ home town of Sagle.)
Oh, and did I mention that recycled materials are used to make these things?
Hope this good news gets your week off to a good start.