Solar powered phone charging facilities have been installed in the grounds of Belfast’s City Hall. The news means residents are now able to charge their phones in the city centre using sustainably generated electricity.
The charging points, called Street Charge units, have been installed by the Environmental Street Furniture Company, a company based in Newtownabbey who specialise in the design, manufacture and distribution of bespoke, sustainable street furniture.
The Street Charge units are composed of three photovoltaic solar panels and three charging points. Up to three phones can be charged via USB cables at any one time, and the units also provide free Wi-Fi connectivity.
They’re manufactured by an American company, NRG. The New York-based company have agreed a deal with Environmental Street Furniture to begin the distribution of the street charge product across Europe; there are currently street charge points installed in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Macclesfield, and in the German cities of Essen and Munich.
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Alongside this, the Street Charge has been showcased at a number of sites on a short-term basis to showcase the product, including Milan and Madrid.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Alan Lowry, the managing director of Environmental Street Furniture, said:
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to showcase the street charge units at Belfast City Hall.
“The concept is simple in that it uses sustainable solar power to charge electrical devices, and by placing the units in such an accessible and popular space, we envisage that they will be readily used by members of the public.”
“We have secured distribution of the street charge units across Europe through an agreement of the New York-based designers, and in addition to our new installation at Belfast City Hall, we have installed similar units in Prague, Barcelona and Milan.”
The installation will help to put sustainability on the political agenda in Northern Ireland, with the country currently limited in the amount of renewable energy it produces. However, there are plans in place which will see the construction of a 100 MW tidal project, and the country is known to have a suitable wind speed range for wind turbines to be an economical investment.