Japan's TOA Road Industry will cooperate with France's Colas to develop road-type photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems for power supply to streetlights, electric vehicles, etc., Nikkei reported.
Colas is a large French road construction company that has developed road-type PV panels with a length of 1.25 m, a width of 0.69 m and a thickness of 6 cm that can be installed for use on driveways and sidewalks. This technology from Colas has been commercialized in France since 2019 and has been introduced in 10 countries and regions around the world, including Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
TOA Road Industry now plans to introduce the system in Japan and is currently in talks with the relevant government authorities for the installation of PV panels at parking lots, parks and walkways starting from 2023. The company is currently working with Colas to develop PV panel materials that can be used in high-temperature and high-moisture environments.
The electricity generated by the PV panels will be stored in batteries buried underground and used to supply street lights, signaling devices, charging piles, and neighboring electrical facilities.
The road-type PV system can effectively address the insufficient PV panel installation due to the limited use of space, however, the high cost is still an important constraint to the large-scale deployment of the technology. It is reported that the cost of road-type PV systems is 4-5 times higher compared to rooftop PV solutions.
Japan May Introduce 'PV Roads' from 2023