Utrecht paving roadway with solar panels in renewable energy test

traffic jam Simon Forsyth, Flickr

The province of Utrecht and construction company BAM will soon start placing solar panels on a 20 meter stretch of the N401 provincial road near Kockengen. In this renewable energy experiment, they want to find out how efficient the solar panels located on a road are, and how the materials hold up under traffic, the Telegraaf reports.

The experiment will be done with a solar "mat" produced in France. It comes equipped with a protective layer that will protect the solar panels from traffic. 

In addition to generating energy, BAM and the province hope that using this technology will also mean less maintenance on the asphalt. They also want to find out whether it is possible to heat the road surface with generated energy, thereby saving on salt gritters during the winter. 

The experiment will last two years. Preparations are already underway and the solar panels are expected to be installed by autumn.