Innovation That Matters

Residents in the Crown Heights, East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhoods will benefit | Photo source Oliver Niblett on Unsplash

Solar energy savings provide city residents with free WiFi


Three New York City neighbourhoods will benefit from the new system

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Spotted: Dedicated to the provision of affordable urban housing, Workforce Housing Group’s latest project brings residents in three New York City neighbourhoods free, solar-powered wifi. Working with green energy education centre Solar One, the solar panels are being installed on 18 of the buildings managed by the housing group. Partially financed by the NY Green Bank, the goal of the renewable energy system is to lower bills for residents, improve the sustainability of the housing group’s properties and narrow the digital divide.  

Many residents in the Crown Heights, East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhoods did not previously have internet access. For those families that did have it, the provision of such a vital service free of charge could make a huge difference to their monthly bills. The power generated by the panels is likely to be so substantial that the housing group will make savings on the running of the common areas of the buildings. Those funds will be used to pay for the wifi and broadband, as well as helping repay the loans taken out to set up the project.  

Residents in 22 buildings will be able to take part in the scheme. With such a clear return on investment, the Workforce Housing Group team hopes to create an easily replicable system that can help digitally underserved communities elsewhere in the world.  

Other recent internet access projects Springwise has spotted include tethered drones and a student-created online resource library

Written by: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Sustainability Innovations | Architecture & Design Innovations



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