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Holland Plans to Build Three Square Km Solar-Energy Freeway

The Dutch government plans to install solar panels, as partition walls and on division islands, on a 40 km section of A37 freeway in Drenthe province, totaling three square kms in space and 140 MW in capacity.

Rijkswaterstaat, the authority in charge of public works and water management and mastermind of the project, is in talk with Drenthe provincial government, city governments of Coevorden, Emmen, and Hoogeveen, Internet firm Enexis Groep, and distribution-system operator Rendo, on how to implement the solar-energy freeway project without affecting the landscape.

The project follows a previous one in Oct. 2017, when Rijkswaterstaat joined hands with Dutch construction company Heijmans starting to install a solar-energy acoustic barrier on A50 freeway, which contains bifacial PV cell inside double-panel glass.

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The solar-panel acoustic barrier has been operating satisfactorily since its inauguration in early 2019, with its power output topping 240 MW in the year, 20% higher than the expected level, sufficient to meet the power need of 60 households and streetlamps along 14 km-section of the freeway.

The world’s first solar-energy highway is a 1,080-meter solar panel-covered section of a freeway installed by Jinan city government of Shandong province in China, whose output has been used in powering equipment of the freeway.

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