Solar Power Serpent Highway Proposed for Santa Monica
Santa Monica's proposed solar power, "serpent", highway is a sunny California dream. Architect Mans Tham has proposed renovation of the existing infrastructure of the Santa Monica Freeway into a solar power highway. The solar installation would cover the 15 miles of roadway in a mosaic of scale-like solar power panels. This will add more than 237 acres of solar panels, producing 150 MWh of clean solar power, for local residents in Los Angeles.
Power generation close to the point of its use is a desired sustainability factor since distant energy sources can lose up to 15% of their efficiency. The solar power highway as well as solar power plants in the Mojave Desert and other solar power installations throughout the area can help in providing readily accessible clean energy for conscious Californians. The hood covered highway would drastically reduce traffic noise pollution to citizens as well.
There are other green technologies that could be incorporated into the design of the highway. Architect Mans Tham has proposed building ports along the highway to capture exhaust fumes from traffic which can then be used in the production of algae fuel similar to the biostations in Finland's green highway. In addition, Tham has portrayed electric car charging stations along the solar powered highway. These green technologies will provide subsequent jobs to the neighborhoods located around the highway.
Solar power is slithering its way back to the forefront of alternative energy exploration as designs for the serpent highway are developed.