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France is Going to Build More Than 600 Miles of Solar-Paneled Roadways

As an Idaho couple continues to develop their crowdfunded solar roadway prototype, France is now leaping ahead with its own solar roadway project.

Last week, the country’s minister of ecology and energy, Ségolène Royal, announced the government would pave 621 miles (1,000km) of road — about the distance from Boston to Cleveland—with photovoltaic panels in the next five years, Global Construction Review reported.

The project aims to supply electricity to 5 million people—about 8% of France’s population.

The first test panels will be constructed this spring. They’re being produced by a French company called Colas, which is calling the project Wattway. The panels are composed of stacked photovolatic cells that “ensure resistance and tire grip.” They also don’t require destruction of existing roadways; instead, they can simply be added on to them.

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