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World's first solar road opens in France

The roughly half-mile stretch of road in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche is designed to provide power for streetlights.

The world's first solar road, in the small Norman village of Tourouvre au Perche.
Let's hope it's the sunny side of the street.
Frederic Stevens/Getty Images

A small town in Normandy, France, claims to have become the first place in the world to install a solar-power road, in a bid to run the local streetlights.

The 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) stretch of road in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche was built at the cost of €5 million ($5.2 million) and was inaugurated Thursday by the French ecology minister, Ségolène Royal, according to a report in The Guardian.

The road consists of 2,800 square meters of solar panels and is covered with a coating protecting it from the 2,000 or so vehicles that will travel over it every day.

This year, Missouri announced plans to upgrade part of the iconic Route 66 with solar cells.