Is Solar Roadways our Green Infrastructure fork in the road?

At ReVenture we are always talking about dreaming big and going big. Our heroes are the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk. We look to work with and invest in people and companies that are going for it and changing the world. Normally our blog will be focused on the latest and best ideas in residential and commercial green tech. However, every once in a while an idea or business comes along that changes the conversation and pushes the envelope in our industry, and unless you were on a remote pacific island or under a rock the last few weeks, you probably heard something about Solar Roadways. This brave and determined company based in Northern Idaho believes that they have the technology and the system to replace the nation’s roadways with energy producing solar. Impossible you say? Yet another entrepreneurial pipe dream? Well many others told them those very things along the way. Yet today they are sitting on a working prototype, two federal highway research grants, and a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign that started out with a goal of raising 1 million and ended up shattering site records on the way to 2.2 million raised.

This has caused a flurry of media interest, and has also brought out the naysayers alongside the usual fossil fuel blogosphere spin about astronomical costs and infeasibility. Many have gone so far as to make claims of it costing tens of trillions without having a shred of data to back that up since the cost per panel is not even finalized and known by the company itself. (They should have that data by the end of this Summer)

What would this roadway do if it just replaced our federal interstate highway system and nothing else? It would produce three times the necessary electricity to power our nation, it would route all precipitation runoff to collection centers for purification and it would bring all power and data cables below ground. Each panel is heated, thus preventing snow and ice buildup and would make snow removal and equipment obsolete. In addition, each panel is infused with LED lights that can be configured to warn motorists of any upcoming obstruction and dangers. This is just a sample of the benefits and cost savings that this technology could provide. Scott & Juile Bursaw, owners of Solar Roadways, have not only been awarded two Federal Highway research grants, but they were also invited to the White House for the prestigious Makers Faire a few weeks ago.

On August 20th we will present a Google Hangout focusing on many new Green Tech companies and Solar Roadways will certainly be one of them. See you on August 20th!!



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