The state of Massachusetts is likely to become the first US state to make use of the first-ever solar-powered roadside sound barrier to produce electricity. If things go as per the plan, this project may produce enough power to light up 100 houses. That’s not too shabby for what is essentially a wasted energy.
The innovative system, brain-child of a local enterprising unit Ko-Solar, will be installed in the place of existing barrier panels. With this switch, the state of Massachusetts may become the first one in the US to do away with regular barrier panels and install solar ones instead.
Massachusetts-based Ko-Solar, a full-service transportation-based solar energy systems provider, specializes in putting up solar panels in unnoticeable places. This includes parking lots, industrial estates, and even roofs. But for the first time, solar panels will be installed on a highway. If everything goes smoothly, soon Interstate 95-Masschusetts (North Boston Section) might get an innovative renewable energy facelift.
A pilot project has already been developed by Ko-Solar, working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. In this pilot project, the company will install solar panels on small stretch of sound barriers (about half a mile). According to the company’s spokesperson, the pilot project, if successful, will pay way for developing similar solutions for other sites. Since most US states already have sound barriers, using them to produce electricity is a great way of putting wasted energy to good use.
This one-of-its-kind pilot project is expected to produce roughly 800 megawatt-hours of power a year. That is enough electricity for as many as 100 homes.