Local News

Solar-powered cellphone charging stations coming to downtown Raleigh

Posted July 3

Cell phones aren't just for calling home anymore; a new generation of smart phones offers applications that keep people informed, entertained and even healthy.

— Dead cellphone batteries will no longer be a nuisance for downtown visitors.

Officials in Raleigh announced Monday that the city will be installing three new solar-powered cellphone charging stations this month in downtown Raleigh's most frequented areas, including two at Market Plaza and Exchange Plaza (both in the 200 block of Fayetteville Street) and a third at the bus stop at the intersection of Morrill Drive and Cates Avenue.

Officials say all three stations will be installed by early July.

The stations, which are made in America from sustainably harvested materials, feature two USB plug-ins that use the power of the sun to power up cellphones. The free service is available on a first-come, first-served basis to users who bring their own cord.

“[With these], we can showcase the benefits of renewable solar energy to power technology right in front of the users," said Robert Hinson, renewable energy coordinator for the City of Raleigh.

Officials say the charging stations will not only benefit cellphone users.

"Sensors will monitor activity in outdoor public areas so the City can see in real-time how people are using the spaces, providing information on the success of different programs, special events and the space itself correlated with weather data," creators said.

The first three stations are part of a pilot program that will help determine the best locations for these devices, so users should expect that installation locations will likely change over time.

“Innovation is imperative in a growing city like Raleigh,” said Michael Rogers, the city's Transportation Director. "Communication devices are important in this day and age, and I am excited that Raleigh will be able to provide free cellphone charging stations."

2 Comments

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  • Craig Elliott Jul 3, 5:06 p.m.
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    How much did this cost?

  • David Smith Jul 3, 12:09 p.m.
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    WOW! Two USB ports on street corner with a spy cam.