HAMPTON, Va (WAVY) – The City of Hampton is taking the first step toward a new digital transformation project.
It’s the installation of new ‘smart light poles’ with built-in solar panels. This is the first of it’s kind in Hampton Roads, the city says.
10 On Your Side’s Tamara Scott was there for the unveiling Tuesday afternoon.
The smart poles are part of their pilot program to help reduce carbon footprints and energy costs.
The cylinders around the poles consist of 360 solar panels.
They store energy for up to eight days and illuminate the LED lights. They provide enough energy for wifi and charging ports.
The 20-foot-tall smart poles can store energy for up to eight days and help power the LED lights and other smart features included to help keep people safe.
“We call it smart pole technology, and the concept is that you have these cylinders that are solar panels that can collect light from 360 degrees. They store light for up to eight days and they have ‘follow me technology,’ which allows me to move around from this whole path without being in the dark,” said Mayor Donnie Tuck.
The innovative technology not only includes state-of-the-art solar panels, but it can provide an element of safety.
“We can mount sensors and cameras in it, which will communicate data to our real-time crime center. So, the idea is that it provides safety here it also provides data back to our public safety, so they can make sure anyone who is using this path is not in danger,” said Tuck.
Tuck said it’s important to stay ahead of the times.
“We’re the first one in the 757 area to have this technology, so I think it’s leading edge for others that can come behind us with this,” he said.
Right now the lights can only be seen at Y. H. Thomas Neighborhood Park, but the city has big ideas for where they will be most helpful.
“We have some bus stop areas which have no lighting at all, and so for safety concerns this would be something that is somewhat practical. We think the cost is going to come down, which really would make it something that is a real alternative,” Tuck said.
Locations being considered for future installations include downtown on Queens Way, around the Settlers Landing Road parking garage, and the Mellen Street bridge. Other cities using this technology include Miami, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Lafayette, Louisiana.
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