In case you are in the Las Vegas area, head on over to Boulder Plaza. Here you can power the newly installed clean energy streetlights, with your steps! The city has teamed up with EnGo Planet out of New York to install their kinetic and solar powered streetlights in the city’s art district. More and more cities across America are starting to implement renewable energy sources to bring down their net emissions. The streetlights installed by EnGo Planet are a small step toward more energy efficiency. Across the nation the 300 million traditional streetlights emit 100 million tons of carbon pollution per year.
The concept behind EnGo Planets streetlights is quite simple. In close proximity to the newly installed streetlights kinetic pads are embedded in the walkway. The streetlights themselves are also equipped with solar panels for further electricity. As pedestrians step on the pads, kinetic energy is stored in a generator. One footstep produces between 4 and 8 watts. When combined with solar energy gathered during the day, it produces enough to power the LED streetlights. All of this would be sufficiently revolutionary, but there is more. EnGo Planet has added some smart features to the streetlights. For instance, each streetlight has a WiFi hotspot and mobile charging station fitted with a wireless charging pad and USB ports. Going a step further, integrated smart sensors monitor temperature, air quality, and humidity, and the entire system can be monitored by online software that allows you to check the collected data, see the battery status, and even dim the lights.
The city of Las Vegas is looking to do more than just to simply cut energy costs with this initiative. “We want to provide the highest service levels while also looking to the future and ensuring that we are sustainable,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman declared. “Through our LEED certified buildings, solar projects, water reclamation, alternative-fueled vehicles and sustainable streetlights, Las Vegas continues to lead the way.”
The next goal for EnGo Planet ist to bring their technology to ten rural areas in Africa. Here the population is more often than not missing streetlights completely or have to pay high fees to simply charge up their smartphone. Through their Indiegogo campaign they are looking to fund the production, shipping, and installation of at least 60 units in order to do their part in bringing light to some of the 1.4 billion people worldwide who do not have access to electricity or public lights.