Smart Street: Las Vegas Streetlights are Powered by Pedestrian’s Footsteps
Las Vegas has a new weapon against climate change: pedestrian footsteps.
The city of Las Vegas has recently partnered with a New York-based startup to install the world's first smart streetlights that convert pedestrian footsteps and solar energy into power.
EnGoPLANET, a company that was formed when Manhattan lost power for days due to Hurricane Sandy, created the Smart Street Light, an off-the-grid solution powered by kinetic energy and solar energy. Kinetic energy pads on the floor harvest kinetic energy every time pedestrians walk over them, which are stored directly in micro-generators beneath each pad. The streetlights are also equipped with solar panels for additional electricity generation capacity.
The company provided Las Vegas with eight lamp posts for free to demonstrate the new technology. The first few street lamps were installed at Boulder Plaza in the Arts District, and the kinetic energy pads were embedded in the concrete floor.
Apart from lighting the streets, Smart Street Light will also function as rest areas. The street lamps are equipped with USB ports and wireless charging pads, and people could use them to charge their electronic devices.
"Clean and free energy is all around us. Urban cities have to build the smart infrastructures of tomorrow that will be able to harvest all that energy," Petar Mirovic, CEO of EnGoPLANET, said in a statement. "This project is small, but a very important step in that direction."
According to the company, the world spends about $40 billion in energy costs per year to light 300 million traditional streetlights. These streetlights produce over 100 million tons of carbon pollution every year.
"We want to provide the highest service levels while also looking to the future and ensuring that we are sustainable," Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a report by Las Vegas Sun. Goodman also added that the streetlights are also a boost to Las Vegas' profile as a leader in sustainability, being 100 percent powered by renewables.
EnGoPLANET also aims to bring the streetlights to the 1.4 billion people who do not have access to street lighting. A crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo was created to raise funds for a project of installing the streetlights in 10 villages in Africa.