Solar Roadways Raises $1.4 Million Via Crowdfunding

solarroadwaysprototype

It’s been well over 3 years since we last reported on Solar Roadways – a company with the goal of turning asphalt roads into solar power systems.
  
The general concept is described in our 2010 article on the topic; but it essentially consists of solar cells covered by ultra-tough tempered and textured glass. Each solar panel also includes LEDs for lighting up roads and conveying messages, plus heating elements to keep the units ice and snow free.
  
Back in 2009, Solar Roadways received a grant  from the USA’s Federal Highway Administration. In 2010, the company won the GE Ecomagination Challenge. Solar Roadways was awarded a follow-up 2-year Phase II $750,000 SBIR contract by the Federal Highway Administration beginning in 2011.
  
Since that time, the company has built a small phase-2 prototype.
  

  
To this point, the company has consisted of husband and wife team Julie and Scott Brusaw plus a few volunteers and an advisory board.
  
Solar Roadways is now ready for the next step – to hire an initial team of engineers to optimise the product and streamline processes so that Solar Roadways can move from prototype to production. 
  
But instead of bringing in investors in traditional ways to finance further development; the company decided to take the crowdfunding route via IndieGoGo – and it’s been very successful.
  
With 4 days left to go in the fundraising campaign, Solar Roadways has raised USD $1,419,262 at the time of writing; which is a great result considering the goal was $1 million.
  
If the company’s ultimate goal is realised, they believe the Solar Roadways concept could power the entire USA.
   
The concept isn’t without its detractors and faces many challenges, but the crowdfunding campaign has shown that solar continues to capture the attention and imagination of many who are also prepared to financially contribute to a clean energy future – even if a desired outcome isn’t guaranteed.