Baker-Polito Administration Announces Solar Powered Mobile Device Charging Stations at Public Facilities

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Media Inquiries:

Robert Fitzpatrick
(617) 315-9352
Sep 22, 2016 –
West Springfield

At an unveiling at the Big E Fair, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the future installation of solar-powered public charging and WiFi hotspot stations for mobile devices at 13 public facilities across Massachusetts. The project is the result of a partnership between the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to expand the use of innovative, sustainable technology at state facilities while providing the public with convenient power solutions at outdoor recreational centers including beaches and playgrounds.

“Technology plays a critical role in supporting our daily lives, and the installation of thirteen solar-powered mobile device charging stations within the state park system will increase the accessibility of these locations allowing families to spend more time enjoying the state’s natural resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts has a long, proud history of supporting innovative ideas, and these public stations serve as the latest example of our dedication to providing inventive solutions for the public to directly benefit from.”

“Massachusetts leads the nation in clean energy innovation, where promising ideas are set into motion within communities across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “It is essential that we foster an environment that not only embraces new and developing technologies, but also serves an important role in our day to day lives.”

The project, funded by an award of $96,850 from DCR and MassCEC to Somerville-based WrightGrid LLC for purchase of the units as well as annual service and maintenance fees, includes 13 Model Z solar-powered charging stations that provide users with free charging and WiFi connectivity. Each unit will have 10 secure cell phone lockers with universal charging cables and are able to charge over 95 percent of the mobile devices on the market, including all Apple (iOS) and Android devices.

“By installing thirteen solar-powered charging stations at popular public facilities, the Baker-Polito Administration is sending a clear message that it supports the continued development of renewable technologies that will clearly benefit generations of people,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Making innovative, environmentally-friendly services available to the public, especially children, will provide people with increased accessed to the natural world, which will in turn create an environment enabling visitors to foster a true love for nature.”

In addition to the unit installed outside of the Massachusetts State Building on the grounds of the Big E Fair, units will be installed at the following locations:

  • Artesani Playground and Wading Pool - Boston
  • Constitution Beach - Boston
  • Southwest Corridor Park - Boston
  • Castle Island - South Boston
  • Murphy Rink - South Boston
  • Nickerson State Park - Brewster
  • Lynch Family Skate Park - Cambridge
  • Nantasket Beach Reservation - Hull
  • Nahant Beach Reservation - Nahant
  • Wollaston Beach - Quincy
  • Salisbury Beach Reservation - Salisbury
  • Horseneck Beach Reservation - Westport

“The Department of Conservation and Recreation is pleased to provide visitors to our state beaches, forests, rinks, skate parks and campgrounds with an innovative way to stay digitally connected while enjoying the Commonwealth’s many outdoor recreational opportunities,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “I hope and expect that many will benefit from an improved user experience in our state parks, as evidenced by the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to this project.”

“This funding helps continue the growth of the thriving clean energy economy in Massachusetts,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Stephen Pike. “By providing market opportunities to local small businesses, we can realize economic benefits here in the Commonwealth while offering products that enhance the visitor experience at our state facilities.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration is connecting the bridge between the enjoying the digital word and the Commonwealth’s natural resources by providing clean energy means to attract the public to our treasured state properties,” said State Representative Paul A. Schmid (D-Westport). “With the development of this project, residents and visitors to Westport and Horseneck Beach will literally have clean, inventive technologies at their fingertips. I truly thank the Administration and the work that EEA, DCR, and MassCEC continue to do to maintain and improve our environmental landscape.”

“I commend the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to enhancing public access to renewable technology,” said State Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport). “Installing charging stations and public WiFi at Horseneck Beach will help better equip our community’s ability to couple the needs of technologically-driven consumers with maintaining the use of our natural and recreational facilities.”

“This is great news,” said State Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury). “These types of investments in the community make sense and help make Salisbury Beach an even more attractive place to visit.”

“Constitution Beach is among East Boston’s greatest natural resources,” said State Senator Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop). “Investments in new technologies, such as solar charging stations, are critical to the continued growth of the neighborhood and protecting our environment for generations to come.”

WrightGrid designs and manufactures industrial strength power products to enhance mobile connectivity. The Model Z is its first product deployed for public use.

“I speak for the entire WrightGrid team when I say we are extremely excited to partner with the Governor's Office, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, MassCEC, and DCR to make our solar cell phone charging stations available to the public,” said Ryan Wright, Founder and CEO of WrightGrid. “We could to have asked for more supportive partners, and through their efforts, we’re now able to provide convenient power and connectivity solutions across the Commonwealth, demonstrating how Massachusetts is leading the way for the adoption of renewable energy in new and creative ways.”