Solar Panel Road in Idaho Cost $4.3 Million and Barely Makes Any Power

A not so cost effective solar panel road in Idaho, considering it was funded with $4.3 million, produces enough juice to just barely power a small device such as a microwave oven. In late March, the Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project posted data which was rather disappointing, as the very expensive road could only generate 0.62 kWh worth of energy on a daily average.

In detail, on March 29th 0.26 kWh was generated from the road panels, which for example can’t even power a PC monitor. Two days later, official readings showed that 1.06 kWh of energy was generated by the panels, which should be enough to power a domestic refrigerator. This low power output of the Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project is caused by design fault but even if that was not the case the and the road panels actually worked as intended, the energy generated would not justify the cost of the project itself because the energy produced daily does not exceed the worth of 90 cents.

Eventually, the Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project “burst into flames” due to an electrical box which caught fire. The fire was captured in a series of screenshots taken in late March. Firefighters rushed to the scene and issued an update on the official project’s webcam reading: “The Solar Roadways electrical system is currently undergoing maintenance. Please check back late next week.”


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