By Cameron Rasmusson
The long-awaited moment is finally here.
City and business officials are excited to introduce the first-ever public demonstration of Solar Roadways panels this Friday. Given the immense public interest surrounding the technology since its viral crowdfunding campaign, the event is expected to place significant media attention on Sandpoint.
“The weather report said it should be a good day for us to be outside, and we’re supposed to have some sun,” Sandpoint City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton told council members last week.
The day kicks off with a 1 p.m. press conference at the Columbia Bank Building, located at 414 Church Street. Following the media frenzy, an official ceremony will begin 3 p.m. at Jeff Jones Town Square, where the demonstration project is located.
At 150 square feet in size, the demonstration boasts many of the Solar Roadways panels’ envisioned features. Snow and ice should be no problem on the panels this winter thanks to heating elements, while the solar energy collected throughout the day will help power the square’s fountain and bathrooms. What’s more, kids and families should have plenty of fun playing with the panels’ programmed sequences of LED lights, which are intended to paint road lines when used as a driving surface.
A proof of concept for Solar Roadways technology, the project is a first step toward large-scale, multi-functional walking and biking surfaces. According to Solar Roadways officials, similar demonstrations are expected to open in other areas of the country.
The project is funded primarily through an Idaho GEM grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce and a grant from the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency.
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal