Solar Panels Coming to Route 66

Road improvement and solar energy production are combining forces on a section of Route 66! According to Tom Blair, head of the Road to Tomorrow Initiative, a section of the iconic highway in Missouri will soon be covered in solar panels. Hopefully by the end of this year!

Modular System for Solar Roadways

Blair asserts that if the solar endeavor in Missouri is successful in a realistic and practical manner, roadways can begin paying for themselves. The solar road will be a modular system of specially engineered solar panels that can be walked and driven upon. Each solar panel will contain LED lights to create lines and signage without paint. They will also contain heating elements to prevent snow and ice accumulation in the winter.

The solar panels include microprocessors that make it possible for panels communicate with each other and with vehicles driving on them. The solar panels will not affect roadwork because they are modular so roads could easily be worked on without major disruptions of traffic.

It is worth mentioning that Route 66 is not the only road to experiment with solar power. France plans to pave 600 miles of road with solar panels. If these solar roads are effective, we could be seeing them in a lot more places and on a lot more roads.

Solar Roadway Considerations

However, there are many potential engineering problems that need to be resolved before they become commonplace on our streets. For example, traffic damage could scuff solar panels so badly that their ability to generate electricity would be greatly reduced. Winter poses other issues such as frost which may cause them to break. In addition, water can collect between panels and freeze, damaging the connections between them.

Solar roads are definitely an interesting idea and one that deserves to be explored further. One thing is for sure, it is a very exciting time for solar power and solar innovations!


If you want to find out more solar energy information or are ready to go solar, please get in touch! Email, call or schedule an in home consultation with one of our trusted solar energy experts! We make it easy to switch to solar energy with worry free no money down financing! We install solar power across South Carolina, including Charleston and Columbia. Give us a call today (855) 339-1831

Palmetto Solar



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Renewable Energy Creative Director, Content Manager & Freelance Writer.

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