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China’s solar expressway meets light of day

Updated: Dec 29,2017 9:06 AM     Xinhua

Power-generating equipments of a solar expressway are seen in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, Dec 22, 2017. China on Dec 28 opened a 1-km section solar expressway for testing. Solar panels are laid beneath part of a ring road surrounding Jinan. The road surface is made of a transparent, weight-bearing material that allows sunlight to penetrate. The panels, covering 5,875 square meters, can generate 1 million kwh of power in a year, enough to meet the everyday demand of around 800 households.[Photo/Xinhua]

JINAN — China on Dec 28 opened a 1-km section solar expressway for testing.

Solar panels are laid beneath part of a ring road surrounding Jinan, capital city of Shandong province in East China. The road surface is made of a transparent, weight-bearing material that allows sunlight to penetrate.

Vehicles run on a solar expressway in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, Dec 28, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]

The panels, covering 5,875 square meters, can generate 1 million kwh of power in a year, enough to meet the everyday demand of around 800 households, according to Qilu Transportation Development Group, the project developer.

“The project will save the space for building solar farms and shorten the transmission distance,” said Xu Chunfu, the group’s chairman.

A heavy vehicle runs on a solar expressway in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, Dec 28, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Electricity produced by the test section will be used to power highway lights, signboards, surveillance cameras, tunnel and toll gate facilities. Surplus power will be supplied to the state grid, Xu said.

Future functions to be developed include mobile charging for electric vehicles and providing internet connection.

A car runs on a solar expressway in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, Dec 22, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xu did not reveal the cost but said it was half of similar projects in foreign countries.

“With the development of solar power in China, the cost can be further reduced,” he said.

A solar expressway is seen in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong province, Dec 28, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

China leads the world in solar power development. Its annual increase of new installed generation capacity has been the largest in the world since 2013. As of the end of September, China’s installed photovoltaic capacity hit 120 gigawatts.

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