June 15, 2007
Something magical happens when you combine solar power and municipal WiFi. You get internet access for a population of 44,000 residents. St. Louis Park, Minnesota is where this green technology implementation is taking place. The WiFi APs will be connected by fiber and reside on 16 foot poles painted an aesthetically pleasing brown.
Clint Pires, CIO for St. Louis Park, said his city is the first in the U.S. to combine Wi-Fi and solar panels so widely.
"Our decision to use solar power reflects the city's philosophy of environmental stewardship, but we also expect to save $40,000 to $50,000 each year by using solar power instead of electric utility connections," Pires said in a statement. The savings is because of the elimination of the cost of paying the electric utility monthly fees for attaching the APs to utility poles and for the electricity to run them, Arinc said.
If this initiative works well, there is no reason why every municipality can’t also go green, save money and be more environmentally conscious.
See ParkWiFi to be green with solar power for more.
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