London, September 9 (ANI): The U.S. Department of Transportation is funding a new research project aimed at replacing asphalt with solar panels as the basic material for making roads, in a bid to solve the crisis of electricity.
As part of the scheme, a U.S. firm called Solar Roadways has won a grant of 100,000 dollars from the Government to carry on with its work on a prototype glass solar cell panel that may one day turn motorways into major energy sources.
It is expected that these panels will be capable of generating enough power to support local communities, according to reports.
The panels would also be covered with a mosaic of small lights, which could be illuminated to provide road markings, and warning messages to drivers.
They could also be embedded with heaters to keep the road clear by melting snow and ice.
The company believes that a four-lane, one-mile stretch of road made from the 12 ft by 12 ft panels, each capable of producing 7.6 kilowatt hours of electricity each day, can generate enough power for 500 homes.
Solar Roadways plans to develop its idea to allow the energy produced to be channelled into the national grid, as well as sold to drivers of electric cars on the roadside.
"This feature packed system will become an intelligent highway that will double as a secure, intelligent, decentralised, self-healing power grid which will enable a gradual weaning from fossil fuels," the Telegraph quoted the company as saying in a statement. (ANI)