Spain and Germany may be the renewable energy darlings of Europe, but Italy is set to become the first country with a solar-powered highway. The A18 Catania-Siracusa highway, a 30 km addition to Sicily’s 600 km highway network, will feature a whopping 80,000 photovoltaic panels installed along the road

solar highway, italy, sicily, pv, photovoltaic, green designPhoto © Filipe Fortes

The highway, which is being built by Pizzarotti & Co., will use photovoltaic panels to power 100% of the highway’s needs –including tunnel fans, lights, tunnel fans, road signs, emergency telephones, and more. All in all, the €60 million project will produce 12 million kWh, saving 10,000 tons worth of CO2 emissions annually.

The highway officially opens to the public on January 1, 2011. If all goes well, expect more solar highways in Italy and beyond.

Via Matter Network

Lead photo © Bas Lammers