Solar Roadways shines in contest's popular vote

Scott Brusaw shows off his prototype’s programmable LEDs (Photo courtesy MARK DIXON).

SAGLE — Fans of Sagle residents Scott and Julie Brusaw’s Solar Roadways concept have cause to rejoice with their announcement that they’ve won the General Electric Ecomagination Challenge’s popular vote.

As the most popular clean energy solution in the challenge, the Brusaws will receive $50,000 to continue their project development.

“We received an e-mail from GE on Wednesday that informed us we were the clear leader in votes,” Scott Brusaw said.

The Ecomagination Challenge, however, isn’t an all-out victory for the Brusaws yet. GE has yet to announce the winners of their innovation awards in five categories, each carrying an award of $100,000. And the real money from the challenge rests on GE’s selection of ideas to officially sponsor, an announcement that could place up to $200 million in Solar Roadways’ coffers. With that kind of money, the Brusaws could begin to implement their idea on a small scale.

“That’s the announcement that we’re really waiting for,” Brusaw said. “But still, the $50,000 is a great start.”

The GE Ecomagination challenge ultimately attracted more than 3,500 ideas. Solar Roadways, however, was one of the earliest concepts to be submitted, and it already had a significant following through press coverage and a popular Your Environmental Road Trip Youtube video.   More than 74,000 people voted in the challenge, and after the suspicious votes that violated GE’s regulations had been removed, Solar Roadways proved the clear victor.

“This is a great first step that will help us cover our travel costs and other expenses,” Brusaw said. “We’re excited to continue working toward the next big development.”

The Brusaws have been developing the Solar Roadways project for the past four years. Their system involves covering roadways with smart solar panels resilient enough to be driven over and pervasive enough to power the nation three times over. These panels would improve driving safety, distribute clean energy and data, and reduce emissions by making electric cars viable option.

Read More News

Marching together, North Idaho style

January 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Bonner County Daily Bee ...

Read More

Sentence stands in case

January 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — The Idaho Court of Appeals is affirming the sentence handed down in a child pornography case against a former Bonner County man. Lance Robert Pearson was charged with sexual exploitati...

Read More

Avista electric increase takes effect

January 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Electric rates for the northern Idaho customers of Avista Utilities went up by an average 2.6 percent effective Jan. 1. The utility originally requested a 6.3-percent increase, but a settlement pr...

Read More

Sagle planning meeting on tap

January 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SAGLE — A community meeting on the Sagle sub-area plan will be held Tuesday at Sagle Elementary. The meeting, held by the Bonner County Planning Department, will begin at 6 p.m. at Sagle Elementary,...

Read More