Europe just got its first solar-covered cycling path

Europe’s first solar-covered cycling path has made its debut in the German city of Freiburg, in the Black Forest – here’s the lowdown on the pilot project.

German utility service provider Badenova, along with its partners, the City of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, installed the cycling path’s solar roof at the Freiburg Exhibition Center, near the Freiburg FC football stadium. The 300-meter-long (984-foot-long) installation is made up of 900 translucent solar modules made by German panel maker Solarwatt. Freiburg-based Clickcon provided the mounting structures.

The solar roof will generate 280 MWh per year, and that will primarily be used by the Fraunhofer Institute’s laboratories. Badenova said in its announcement that the cycle path’s solar roof will be brought online in the next couple weeks. 

Dr. Karolina Baltins at Fraunhofer Institute, who heads up its PV power plants team, said, “We not only use the solar power of the cycle path canopy, but we are using the knowledge gathered from the pilot project and incorporating it into our research in order to answer the diverse questions for PV in urban areas.”

It’s a win-win: The solar-covered cycling path means that cyclists are sheltered from the elements while they pedal with no emissions, and the shelter makes clean energy. This is definitely a pilot that should be emulated everywhere.

Read more: Six Flags is about to install one of the largest solar carports in the US

Photos: Badenova

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