THURSDAY 20 JUNE, 2013 |
Street Charge - Free Mobile Phone Solar Charging
Australian telcos take note - AT&T's Street Charge is providing free solar mobile charging stations in locations
throughout New York City.
Inspired by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy when New Yorkers without power
flocked to solar powered charging
, AT&T will deploy approximately 25 Street Charge
solar mobile charging units across the five
boroughs of the city. Two units are already operational at Fort Greene Park,
four more will be in place by the end of this week and the remainder will be
rolled out over the next couple of months.
The units are powered by three 15 watt monocrystaline solar panels and energy is
stored in 16 amp-hour internal lithium batteries, so handheld device users can
get a recharge fix at any time of the day.
Built in cords accommodate up to six devices at a time and include dedicated ports for iPhones, Androids, Blackberries and standard USB charging cables.
Costing approximately USD $8,000 each and weighing around 90 kilograms, the Street Charge unit is
tamperproof and weather proof.
AT&T teamed up with solar company Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm
Pensa to develop the initiative. Goal Zero, which provides the units, says Street Charge
has the potential for lighting, Wi-Fi, signage for ads, and way finding.
Street Charge complements Wi-Fi in the Parks, an ongoing joint initiative between AT&T, the City of New York and the New York Parks Department offering free Wi-Fi access to New Yorkers.
The City of New York has taken a special interest in renewables since Sandy,
when solar power proved invaluable in helping to restore communications.
"After Hurricane Sandy, I asked our private sector partners to step up and help improve the resiliency of New York City. AT&T is doing just that, and we're grateful for their
Mayor Michael R.
Walgreens To Add 200+ Solar Power Systems
Walgreens, the USA's largest chemist store chain, says it will expand rooftop
solar installations on its stores from 150 to more than 350.
With over 8,000 stores nationally plus distribution centers, Walgreens has
substantial rooftop real estate; some of which it is putting to good use in
harvesting power from the sun. The company started taking on solar panel
projects in 2007.
to the company
, the addition of the 200-plus rooftop solar power systems will
generate an estimated 13.5 million kilowatt hours annually, enough to meet the
energy needs of around 1,400 households.
Part of the rollout will include 850 solar panels installed on the Walgreens net-zero energy, LEED Platinum store in Evanston,
Walgreens will host the solar panel arrays and SoCore Energy will own, operate, and maintain
Among Walgreens' other renewables efforts is a store in Oak Park, Illinois that
uses geothermal energy and a distribution center in Waxahachie, Texas, that
generates wind power.
Walgreens has committed to a 20 percent energy reduction across its chain of
stores by 2020.
"Taking care of our environment is another way Walgreens can help people get, stay and live well in the communities we
serve," said Walgreens' Menno Enters. "Walgreens will continue to strive for leadership in sustainability to create a happier, healthier environment for our customers and the communities we
While there's certainly a warm and fuzzy motivator element for businesses to go
solar and it can impact positively on customers, solar can also make very good business
sense in terms of operational costs.
According to Australian solar provider Energy
, if a business is paying more than 20 cents per kilowatt hour for
electricity; a commercial
solar power system
sized to daytime consumption can pay for itself in just a
few years - after which, the electricity is essentially free.
News for Wednesday 19 June, 2013
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