Here comes the sun – New Yorkers to get free solar power charging stations

A partnership between AT&T and city authorities will provide New Yorkers with 25 solar-powered phone charging stations to top up their phones and tablets, reports the New York Times.

Starting Tuesday, 25 solar-powered charging stations will sprout in parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces in the five boroughs, part of a pilot project from the wireless provider in partnership with the city. The stations — 12.5-foot steel poles with three petal-shaped solar panels fanning out on top — can accommodate up to six devices at a time regardless of wireless carrier, with dedicated ports for iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and standard USB charging cables.

The technology itself is made by Goal Zero, who make a range of portable power products, both solar and battery.

The roll-out is a pilot scheme, so we may see more solar charging stations to come.

I can’t imagine you’d want to walk away leaving your device there, but if you’re low on power and urgently need to get something done, your local park could be the place to do it. The real boon may, however, be in emergencies: the idea was sparked by Hurricane Sandy, when AT&T supplied mobile generators and cell towers to areas with limited power.