What if, instead of asphalt, our nation’s roads were covered in solar panels designed to power our homes and businesses? It’s a crazy idea, but evidently it’s one a lot of people like. A proposal by one company has crowd funded $1.38 million on Indiegogo over the past few weeks.
The project is the brainchild of Scott and Julie Brusaw of Idaho. Their goal is to replace the nation’s asphalt with solar panels, which they say could produce over three times the electricity that we currently use in the U.S. The plan also allows for smarter roads than we currently have, using heat to melt snow or LED lighting to warn drivers of hazards.
It’s won several awards, as well as two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration for research and development. The Brusaws also say they have a prototype parking lot that can withstand the weight of a 250,000-pound truck.
It’s very difficult to see how it could ever be implemented on our nation’s roadways. Cost of construction and maintenance would be extremely high, as much as $56 trillion (!!!) according to one estimate. In addition, the Brusaws haven’t been exactly clear on what they’ll do with the money they’ve raised.