USA gets its first road surface solar panels on autonomous vehicle lane

Peachtree Corners Smart City and The Ray install panels;, Solar roadway brings renewable, off-grid, Level 2 EV charging to City Hall; use of charger is free to motorists


USAPeachtree Corners, in partnership with The Ray, has unveiled the USA’s new solar roadway system which produces energy for a solar-powered EV charging station located at city hall.

While Peachtree Corners is the USA’s first smart city environment powered by real-world infrastructure and next-generation connectivity, The Ray is a nonprofit living laboratory.

The installation also marked the first road surface-powered solar panels to be activated in a USA city.

Brandon Branham, chief technology officer and assistant city manager of Peachtree Corners, said, “As further reinforcement of Peachtree Corners’ leadership in introducing and developing the latest technologies in a real-world environment, we’re excited to have been working with The Ray to install the country’s first road surface solar panels manufactured by Wattway, within our one-of-a-kind autonomous vehicle lane.”

He added: “While this new form of 100-percent green, renewable energy will begin with supplying power to an EV charging station, our vision is to begin to power more existing infrastructure across the city, off-grid. We look forward to installing more panels throughout, which may include sidewalks, bike lanes and many more surfaces.”

Vehicle test lane

The solar roadway is located in a section of Technology Parkway’s autonomous vehicle test lane and was provided to the USA city through a partnership with The Ray, a nonprofit living laboratory and proving ground located along an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 spanning between LaGrange and the Georgia/Alabama state line.

The new system will produce more than 1,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually for a Level 2 EV charger at city hall at no cost to EV motorists. The charger is also equipped with an energy storage system for nighttime charging.

(With inputs from Automotive Lead Research Team)

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