New solar power charging bench at Mill Pond Park
Osceola residents, visitors and joggers alike will be able to charge their dwindling phone batteries via a solar powered charging bench installed at Mill Pond Park in September. Xcel Energy, Village of Osceola public works and the Osceola Chamber worked together to bring this new addition to the park.
“Upon installing it, I think it was probably two hours later that we were already seeing it being utilized,” said public works coordinator Todd Waters at the monthly board meeting Oct. 8. “I think it’s going to be a great addition to Mill Pond Park.”
The bench itself is a product of Sun Charge Systems, Inc., called the Uptown Charging Bench. It is a stainless steel bench that uses a rear mounted 30-watt solar panel to charge two 14-amp batteries. There are four rapid charging USB ports on either side of the bench capable of charging four devices at once with intelligent device recognition. The bench is American made, moisture and overheating protected, and is handicap accessible.
“This is a newer program that we have through Xcel Energy,” says community service manager Andrea Jorgeson. “We like to support the communities that we serve. So, this initiative will add a few benches every year and hopefully extend it further in the future.”
Jorgeson and Osceola Chamber of Commerce director Germaine Ross worked together on a volunteer service project provided by Xcel and decided to install the bench in Millpond Park during Xcel’s volunteer outreach event.
Xcel has recently committed to lowering the carbon footprint by providing wind and solar power options to customers in Wisconsin through their Renewable Connect program. The company has made a commitment to become completely carbon free by the year 2050. The addition of the solar charging bench in Mill Pond Park works to educate others on their initiative while offering a great service to the community.
“We were very pleased to work with Xcel Energy, one of our community champions and honored to receive this solar bench for Osceola,” said Ross. “It’s an awesome way to educate about energy conservation, while providing a lovely place to sit and enjoy Mill Pond Park.”