China’s First Solar Road Nearly Completed: China is all set to roll on the first solar highway in the world. The road surface on Jinan Expressway has been built out of solar panels, transparent concrete and a layer below it to keep the solar panels dry.
Qilu Transportation Development Group, China has constructed a solar road with panels integrated into transparent concrete, making it the first ever highway in the world capable of generating solar power. It’s reported to be a 2 km long stretch of road on Jinan City Expressway. The transparent concrete covers an array of solar panels and a layer underneath to prevent moisture of the soil from affecting them. Though the road has already been constructed, the connection to grid is yet to be done and is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
Prior to this project, the company built a 160 m long solar road within the vicinity of Jinan. As of now, it heats up the highway to keep it clear of snow and ice and it will soon be able to charge electric vehicles plying on it. In the near future, Jinan Expressway is also expected to be able to charge electric vehicles without stopping for a charge.