The world’s first road paved with electricity generating solar panels was recently opened in France, in the Normandy village of Tourouvre-au-Perche. A kilometre-long section of existing road has been covered in specially toughened solar panels that can withstand the weight of regular traffic, including heavy goods vehicles (around 2,000 motorists a day use the road). A two-year test period will establish whether the road can generate enough electricity to power the street lighting in the village. The solar-panelled road, christened ‘Wattway’, was developed and built by Colas, which has plans for a further 100 Wattway projects, both in France and abroad.
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