Thanks to the increasing affordability of solar panels, George Washington University is installing what it’s calling the world’s first solar paneled pavement. Designed by Onyx Solar, the pavement panels will power 450 LED pathway lights beneath the panels themselves.
The unique pavement panels are slip-resistant and semi-translucent, so that it’s almost impossible to tell that you’re “walking on sunshine.” While this walkway is surely just a small portion of the campus, it will help drastically reduce the school’s exterior lighting bill. It’s a proof of concept that could be expanded throughout all walkable portions of the University, reaping even bigger energy efficiency benefits.
“The Solar Walk is a great example of George Washington University’s commitment to sustainability and a reflection of the university’s forward thinking mentality,” said Eric Selbst, Senior Land Use Planner at GWU. This is certainly true but GWU is not the first to pioneer solar pathways.
Scott Brusaw is the man behind the Solar Roadways project in north Idaho. The Solar Roadway is a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon. The idea is to replace all current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road Panels that collect energy to be used by homes and businesses. This renewable energy replaces the need for the current fossil fuels used for the generation of electricity and in turn, cuts greenhouse gases in half.
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