Foundation News

Solar Charging Stations Bring Green Energy to Campus Greenspace

Two new outdoor solar charging stations are providing fresh air and power on the lawn outside of the College.

The high-speed charging tables seat six and include space for a wheelchair. They are equipped with eco-friendly solar canopies and allow users to charge smartphones simply by placing them face up on a designated area of the table.

The phones sync to the power source in the table and notify the user when charging begins. There are plug-in options for charging other portable electronic devices, including phones, laptops, and tablets. The solar panels also provide power to lights beneath the canopy.

The stations, manufactured by Michigan-based Enerfusion Inc., are already popular with students. Nicholas Brutus and Daniel Rodriguez, both Class of ’24, are excited about comfortably studying outdoors, relaxing with friends or having lunch.

“There aren’t many places this close where we can go to study outdoors and this is a very good use of this space to allow us to gather,” Brutus said. Rodriguez added, “It’s so much better than being in the library all day.”

Both students attended an informal grand opening and thanked the owners of three Capital Region businesses who purchased the stations and donated them to the medical center: Excelsior Construction, R.F. Peck Co., and Valley Paving & Construction.

“Albany Medical Center is important to our company, and we are happy to support this,” said Michael Reitano from R.F. Peck.

The project came about as students were considering eco-friendly ideas for the college. It evolved and came to fruition with the support of senior management and Facility Management.

The two solar stations are the latest amenity added to the patch of greenspace adjacent to the Neil Hellman building. Facilities added an open-air pavilion with picnic tables in 2020. If donors are found, two more charging stations are planned, said Emilio Genzano, VP of Facility Management.

“This project had zero cost to the medical center. I think that is important; it shows support from the community,” Genzano said, crediting Site Service Manager Scott Smith and Fran Spreer Albert, EVP, COO and CFO, for their support and vision.