First solar panel road opens in France

First solar panel road opens in France

A solar panel road, claimed to be the first in the world, has opened in France.  The 0.6-mile (one kilometre) stretch of road in the small Normandy village of Tourouvre-au-Perche is paved with 2,880 solar panels, which convert energy from the sun into electricity. The panels cover an area of 2,800 square metres (30,139 square feet).

It is hoped that the road – officially opened by France’s Minister of Environment, Segolene Royal – could eventually provide enough energy to power the village’s street lights.

Some 2,000 motorists will use the solar panel road every during a two-year test period. The road is expected to produce 280 MWh of electricity a year. While the daily production will fluctuate according to weather and seasons, it is expected to reach 767 kWh per day, with peaks up to 1,500 kWh per day in summer.

France’s ultimate goal is to cover 1,000 kilometres (620 miles)  of roadways with solar panels.

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