france has unveiled ‘wattway’, the world’s first solar panel road set in tourouvre-au-perche, a small village in normandy. announced by ségolène royal — french minister of ecology — the one-kilometer road is covered in 2,880 photovoltaic panels protected by a silicon-based resin that makes them resistant to the heavy weight of passing vehicles. the solar path is expected to generate 280MWh per year, divided between an average of 767 kWg per day, with peaks of up to 1,500 kWh during the summer. an information panel near the solar road will indicate in real time the energy that has been produced as well as the accumulated one since its installation.

images by benoit tessier / reuters



wattway CEO jean-charles broizat comments: ‘this project is an important step in the development of the wattway solar road and we will keep on experimenting and testing. building an application site of this magnitude is a real opportunity for our innovation. this application site has enabled us to improve our process of installing photovoltaic panels as well as their manufacture, in order to optimize our solution as best as possible.’