Solar-Powered Tables Soon To Be Installed at SJU



The solar-powered tables will help reduce the University’s energy consumption.

Angelica Acevedo, Opinion Editor, Co-Social Media Manager

Five solar-powered tables will be installed in different locations on the Queens campus this week. This is a result of the newest initiative to bring solar energy to the St. John’s community from the Office of Sustainability in collaboration with Carissa Herb, president of the Earth Club.

These tables are called the EnerFusion Solar Dok and were supplied by EnerFusion Inc., a company that provides “green” solutions for charging portable devices, according to Thomas Goldsmith, director of the Environmental and Energy Conservation Office at St. John’s.

On a daily basis, each table can charge up to 250 phones for one hour each, as it features eight USB ports and four electrical outlets. It can also charge the Samsung Galaxy 8 phone wirelessly.

“This is one way of reducing the University’s base load energy consumption and help meet SJU’s recent commitment for deeper carbon emissions reductions to the NYC Carbon Challenge,” Goldsmith said.

Tables will be located at the St. Albert Hall Auditorium, Lourdes Hall and Marillac Terrace, as well as on the Great Lawn.

Herb has advocated for more solar energy on campus for two years now, using her position in the Earth Club to build awareness and gain support from students and faculty — from which she said she has gotten “nothing but positive feedback.”

Last year, however, she brought back an ongoing topic of debate at the University regarding the installation of solar panels on buildings like St. Augustine and the Taffner Field House.

Due to the sustainability projects that the University was already implementing, they did not see the need for the installation of these panels any time soon, according to Goldsmith.

Herb credited Goldsmith for helping them find a way to bring solar panels to campus in the form of the Solar Dok tables.

“With his support and knowledge we decided that the tables were the best option for students to be able to see the sustainable initiatives taking place to reduce non-renewable energy use on campus,” Herb said. “We wanted to make sure that the solar panels had a presence and influence on the students and faculty.”

Brian Baumer, associate vice president of Campus Facilities and Services, said that the University is “thrilled to be able to partner with Earth Club and bring these charging stations to Campus. These stations are environmentally friendly and will help meet the increasing need to provide the community with mobile device charging locations.”