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Crowdfunded Solar-powered highways

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 21 Aug, 2018

As part of its 'Road to Tomorrow' initiative, Missouri's Department of Transportation is joining forces with an Idaho-based startup called Solar Roadways to repave with state-of-the-art solar panels. These specially engineered panels are made of tempered safety glass and are super strong — as they'd have to be to sustain constant use by heavy vehicles. Apart from the whole 'harnessing the power of the sun' bit, the panels also come with LED lighting, which can efficiently replace road lines and signage. Basically, they're a badass piece of technology.

The installation will no doubt be pricey, but Solar Roadways is prepared for it — the group raised more than $2.2 million through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. In addition to these funds, initiative leader Tom Blair received a $100,000 prototype grant from the Federal Highway Administration and two $750,000 research grants from the US Department of Transportation. The other good news is that their modular design allows for easy and cheap repairs by just swapping out broken panels for new ones. They are sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly.

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