Sandpoint, Idaho-based Solar Roadways is looking at Dayton, Ohio as a possible location for a first manufacturing facility that would boost the company’s production capacity from three to 1,000 panels per day and employ an initial work force of 50 to 100 people.
“The modular pavement panels can warm up to melt snow and ice on contact, and are embedded with LED lights that can be configured to create lanes and direction symbols,” the Dayton Daily News reports. “The panels are said to last 20 years.”
Solar Roadways has been working to develop its product since 2014, after an Indiegogo campaign far surpassed its US$1-million fundraising goal. Despite lingering technical concerns about the viability of the concept, the company landed a contract last year to install panels at a rest stop along the storied Highway 66 in Missouri.
Now, co-founder Scott Brusaw told the Daily News, “we have a product, we know how to make it.” But “we need to roll out the mass production…we want to roll this out as fast as possible.”
A Dayton-based company, E-Mek Technologies, already supplies Solar Roadways’ printed circuit boards, and Brusaw is a graduate of the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College. So while the company is considering other locations, he and Science Director Alyssa Delbridge said the location would make sense—and would feel like coming home.
“We can save ourselves so much money and so much time if we have everything to make these panels in one location,” Delbridge said.