You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

A Highway That Will Produce Power Instead of Roadkill Missouri hopes to have the first solar panel-paved stretch of U.S. highway before the end of the year.

By Jason Fell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Solar Roadways

Soon, you'll be able to get your renewable energy kicks on Route 66. Seriously.

As part of its "Road to Tomorrow Initiative," Missouri's Department of Transportation is partnering with Idaho-based startup Solar Roadways. The plan is to cover an as-yet undetermined amount of pavement at the historic Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway, Mo., with road-ready solar panels that generate electricity.

"We expect them to be in place, I'm hoping, by the end of this year, maybe before snow flies," initiative leader Tom Blair recently told the Kansas City Star. Blair says the state will turn to crowdfunding in hopes of ponying up the money to put this plan in motion.

Image credit: Solar Roadways

Related: This Car-Swallowing Contraption Is Actually a Futuristic City Bus

In 2009, the team behind Solar Roadways received a $100,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to help build a prototype. The company has since received a pair of $750,000 research grants from the U.S Department of Transportation. On top of that, the group raised more than $2 million with its own crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

That's some serious moola.

Covered in tempered safety glass, Solar Roadways' forthcoming panels do more than collect the sun's energy. They also can come with LED lighting to effectively replace road lines and signage. Since the panels are modular, Solar Roadways says replacing damaged sections will be less expensive and troublesome than re-paving entire stretches of highway with traditional asphalt.

Related: VR Startup Magic Leap Wants You to Save a Seat on the Couch for C-3PO

While solar panel-covered roads have been criticized by some, projects from elsewhere around the world have produced some optimistic results.

Jason Fell

VP, Native Content

Jason Fell is the VP of Native Content, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

I Designed My Dream Home For Free With an AI Architect — Here's How It Works

The AI architect, Vitruvius, created three designs in minutes, complete with floor plans and pictures of the inside and outside of the house.

Business Ideas

7 Link-Building Tactics You Need to Know to Skyrocket Your Website's Rankings

An essential component of SEO, link building is not just a 'Set them and forget them' proposition, but a dance of skills and strategies.

Business News

This Fan-Favorite Masters 2024 Item Is Still $1.50 as Tournament Menu Appears Unscathed by Inflation

The pimento cheese sandwich is a tradition almost as big as the tournament itself.

Business News

Here's One Thing Americans Would Take a Pay Cut For — Besides Remote Work

An Empower survey found a high percentage of respondents would take a pay cut for better retirement benefits and remote work options.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.