The Missouri Department of Transportation is conducting a pilot study to test the feasibility of solar pavers. MoDOT plans to install the hexagonal panels on the sidewalks of a rest area along Interstate 44 between Lebanon and Marshfield.
The state is working on the project with Solar Roadways, a Utah-based company that’s developing “solar panels that you can drive on,” according to Tom Blair, the head of MoDOT’s “Road to Tomorrow” long-range planning effort.
Solar Roadways has said that replacing all the roads and parking lots in the U.S. with solar pavers would help generate three times the electricity the country consumed in 2009.
“If their version of the future is realistic,” Blair said, “roadways can begin paying for themselves.”
MoDOT is also looking into other possible ideas to address future transportation needs in the state.
Read more: Jefferson City News Tribune