Solar Roadways’ sunlight-gathering tiles are getting their first public test in an Idaho town.

Solar Roadways is the possible future of energy! After years of work (and some last-minute delays), Solar Roadways has installed its first public energy tiles in Sandpoint, Idaho as part of a test.

Just recently, the DoE handed over a $100,000 contract to Solar Roadways, which is just enough to build a prototype of the “first ever Solar Road panel.” The 12- x 12-foot panels could theoretically be embedded into roads, and when shined upon, could pipe good, clean electricity straight into the grid.

Roadways could even boast LEDs in order to alert drivers to upcoming accidents or changes in road conditions. Reportedly, each panel would cost around $7,000 (at least initially), and if these were used on the entire US Interstate system, we could pretty much forget about using non-renewable energy sources to power our homes and businesses.

On top of producing a light show, the panels will generate power for the fountain and restrooms in a public square. They have heating elements, too, so they should keep running even in the heart of winter. And if you’re not sure how well they’ll work in practice, you can check on them yourself — Sandpoint has a live webcam pointed at the tiles.

It’s a modest dry run with just 30 panels, and it’ll be a long while before you see them on the streets they were designed for. However, it shows that they’re more than just theoretical exercises. And if a small number of tiles can power a town square by themselves, it’s easy to imagine full-fledged solar roads shouldering a significant amount of the energy demand for whole cities.

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