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Oct 22, 2013 10:06 AM EDT

World’s First Walkable Solar Paneled Pathway Installed at GSW

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The George Washington University (GWU) has created a unique world record of having the first ever walkable solar-paneled pathway within its campus. The 100-square-foot stretch of walkway that's covered entirely in solar panels is installed on GWU's Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

"GW is proud to announce that the Solar Walk which includes the first installation of walkable solar paneled sidewalk in the world," said GW Senior Land Use Planner Eric Selbst,  in an official statement.

The pathway that includes 27 slip-resistant semi-transparent photovoltaic glass panels was installed by Onyx Solar. Besides being non-slippery, it is weather proof and can bear high foot traffic.

"The solar sidewalk is a great example of GW's commitment to innovation in design and sustainability and will be a reference for others to follow," said Onyx Solar Vice President of Business Development Diego Cuevas in the official statement.

Part of a sustainable Solar Walk project, the pathway can generate about 470 kilowatt-hours of electricity that will in turn help power the 450 LED pathway lights below the surface at night.

"The Walkable Solar Panel Sidewalk is a great example of GW's commitment to sustainability and a reflection of the university's forward-thinking mentality. With an ever-increasing need for alternative energy solutions, it is critical to foster new trends such as this in building sustainable technologies", said Selbst in an official statement.

The university students will come across this particular walkway on their way to the Exploration and Innovation Halls on campus, at the intersection of GW Boulevard and University Drive.

The walkable solar-paneled pathway is an extension of a public sidewalk that features a solar panel-covered trellis. Designed by Studio39 Landscape Architecture, the trellis was installed last year. Electricity from the trellis powers Innovation Hall.

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