Swiss startup Sun-Ways has developed an innovative solution to harness solar power by deploying panels directly between railway tracks. The company, in collaboration with École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss innovation agency Innosuisse, has designed a mechanically detachable PV plant that can be pre-assembled in a factory and then rolled out like a carpet on a special train. The panels can be removed at any time for maintenance work.
The company plans to launch its pilot project in May 2023, occupying a track section owned by Swiss railway operator Transports Publics Neuchâtelois SA.
With Switzerland’s railway network spanning almost 7,000 kilometers, Sun-Ways estimates that up to 1 TWh of solar power could be generated in this way.
The company has also received interest from investors in Europe and the United States, with a rail network of around 260,000 kilometers across Europe and 1.16 million kilometers throughout the world. This solution has great potential to revolutionize the way we produce renewable energy, making use of previously unused spaces and providing an innovative solution for sustainable development.