Solar station initiative offers New Yorkers quick mobile charging

9 July 2013

NEW YORK: Telecommunications company AT&T has launched 25 solar-powered charging stations across New York City as part of a US$500,000 pilot project with the city council.

The stations are located in prime New York City locations such as Union Square, Metrotech Plaza, Coney Island and Rockaway Beach. Each station has the capacity to completely charge smartphone devices in two hours, or the public can opt for a 30% charge in 30 minutes. 

The structures, which are designed by Pensa with the expertise of solar power start-up Goal Zero, are architecturally unique. A single 12.5 foot steel pole stretches to the sky with three oblong solar panels resting on top, creating an intriguing sight.

Although the emphasis is on solar energy, three 15-watt panels and a 168-watt-hour lithium ion battery pack can keep the stations running during the night and over five consecutive cloudy days.


New York provides an ideal platform for testing the project, as despite the wide expansion of free wireless networks, little prior attention had been given to customers’ charging needs. AT&T recognized this gap in the market and quickly began discussions with the city council as to how best to meet citizens' demands.

“We view this as a commitment to being a part of the New York community as a corporate citizen but also as a way for New Yorkers to continue to engage with their technology as they continue to consume more and more data”, Marissa Shorenstein, president of AT&T’s New York division, elucidated.

AT&T have highlighted this as major area of business growth and are hopeful that the sustainability initiative can be rolled-out to other cities.

If you would like to learn more about clean energy and climate change impacts in New York and beyond, and are interested in attending both public-facing and high-level events in NYC, don't miss this year's Climate Week NYC. It takes place this year from September 23. Find out more at:

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By Alana Ryan

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