Sin City Streetlights

By on Dec 20, 2016 in Technology

Hurricane Sandy is a terrifying memory, but out of its darkness, plenty of luminous people came out with innovative ideas meant for a better world. One such company is the New York-based clean tech start-up EnGoPLANET. solarstreetlight

They signed a partnership with the city of Las Vegas and installed their solar-kinetic streetlights solution at Boulder Plaza in the Arts District, becoming the first-ever installation in the world of this street lighting technology that combines solar and kinetic energy.

Built in the Nevada desert, Las Vegas’ popularity is fueled by the entertainment variety that makes it one of the leading entertainment hubs in the U. S. Moreover, it is quickly becoming a leader in municipal sustainability and the partnership with EnGoPLANET attests it.

These cool-looking streetlights work via kinetic pads installed under or near the light posts. Inside the pads are generators, which react to the steps of pedestrians stepping over them, the pressure creating kinetic energy. The energy is then converted into electricity and stored into batteries that light up the lamps at night.

Depending on the pressure, each generator can produce 4 to 8 watts per footstep, according to Petar Mirovic, CEO of EnGoPLANET, meaning that for the locations where there are many pedestrians, the ration between solar and kinetic can be somewhere between 30 to 40 percent kinetic and the rest solar.

Solar panels mounted on top of the polls are also a source of power, collecting solar energy throughout the day, and we all know how sunny Las Vegas is. Furthermore, the lights can change colors, complementing the city’s atmosphere. In addition, the system can serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot and even offer passers-by both contact-less and USB-cable charging for mobile phones.

“If you look at traditional street light poles, you will see that they are useless. They simply hold the lighting. With our solution, we’ve changed that by incorporating useful features into the pole and transforming it into a free service spot where people can rest, charge their portable devices, or connect to Wi-Fi,” said Mirovic.

The NYC startup estimates that the world spends more than $40 billion per year in energy costs for the more than 300 million traditional streetlights that result in more than 100 million tons of carbon pollution annually. EnGoPLANET’s solar-kinetic streetlights come as a massive opportunity to help governments meet their climate targets as more cities announce plans to achieve net zero emissions and go 100 percent renewable energy.

Moreover, the company plans to bring emissions-free solar-kinetic streetlights to the 1.4 billion people who don’t have access to street lighting. They’ve started a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a project to install solar-kinetic streetlights in 10 villages in Africa.

By 2017, city officials intend to make Las Vegas the first city of its size to be completely powered by renewable energy.

“Every city light, city park, community center, fire station, and service yard will be 100 percent covered by renewable energy,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said at an event last year.