"The idea we started with was 'wouldn't it be fantastic if we could harvest the solar energy that hits our road network, convert it to electricity and then perhaps even power the cars that drive over the roads?'," Sten de Wit, spokesman for the SolaRoad consortium, told CNBC in a phone interview.
De Wit explained that the project was possible thanks to funding of 3.5 million euros ($3.8 million), with 1.5 million euros coming from the province of Noord-Holland and the rest from the consortium's other partners.
According to SolaRoad, a translucent layer of tempered glass – roughly one centimeter thick – sits on top of the slab, with "crystalline silicon solar cells" below the glass. SolaRoad says that the top layer has also been designed to be dirt repellent, skid resistant and strong.
At the beginning of November, SolaRoad announced that a cycle path in the Dutch town of Krommenie – designed as a pilot demonstration of the concept – had generated 9,800 kilowatt hours of energy in one year, enough to supply three homes with electricity.
Commenting on the results from the pilot programme, de Wit said they slightly exceeded the team's upper expectations.
The project's plans are ambitious, and extend much further than the borders of the Netherlands.
In March of this year, the California Energy Commission announced that it had signed an agreement with the Province of Noord-Holland to swap information and "collaborate on innovative transportation energy projects."