Solar phone chargers free in New York

Power has become a public commodity for smartphone users in Manhattan with newly installed solar charging stations that are emerging in New York City parks.

Power has become a public commodity for smartphone users in Manhattan with newly installed solar charging stations that are today emerging in New York City parks.

AT&T, the Brooklyn design firm Pensa and Goal Zero, a solar equipment maker, have begun a pilot program in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when thousands of residents had difficulty keeping their devices charged up. 25 charging stations will be placed in public parks, including in boroughs, according to AT&T.

Apple Insider is reporting that the first stations have gone online at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1, Fort Greene Park, Governor's Island, and Riverside Park Pier 1. A station will soon open up in Union Square; the stations will only be online through the end of this summer. The pilot could be extended and reach other cities, however.

All major OEMs will be supported through multiple connectors at each station, and an integrated battery will allow for charges even during nighttime. AT&T says that the pilot is intended to provide a sustainable, green solution for mobile charging. It's also the latest example of how solar power is hardening the city.

Solar power played a major role in disaster relief last fall. A project called Solar Journey USA repurposed a solar-powered vehicle to deliver renewable energy to residents of Sandy-stricken Rockaway Island, which was one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane. A parish called Saint Gertrude's was able to host Thanksgiving dinner for the community thanks to Solar Journey's contributions.

A coalition of energy companies calling itself "Solar Sandy" also contributed renewable electricity generators to assist areas hardest hit by the super storm.

(image credit: street-charge.com)

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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