Alabama Company to Install Solar Powered Charging Stations in Public Areas

UPDATED 10/15/20

A local Alabama solar power company is planning on building public charging stations powered by solar energy over the next several years.

The Birmingham Business Journal reports that Sun Charge Systems, in Blount County, will build these stations in public areas where conventional electrical outlets are scarce or nonexistent.

The company, an offshoot of Hornsby Steel, is currently building a charging station in Palisades Park. The $1 million investment is set to create 15 new jobs as it builds several charging stations throughout the county and beyond.

Using solar panels, Sun Charge Systems will convert sunlight into electricity to be used by USB and 12-volt car chargers (among other outlet types). These power stations will be built in areas traditionally void of electrical outlets, especially for devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops.

David Hornsby, the founder of Sun Charge Systems and president of Hornsby Steel, founded the company in order to both provide electrical power in previously difficult areas and provide additional employment for his employees at Hornsby Steel. He is quite proud of keeping both companies in Alabama.

“We want to establish this as an Alabama product, as a technology designed, developed and manufactured right here in Blount County, Alabama,” Hornsby said. He hopes to build these solar powered charging stations in city parks, campgrounds, beaches, and other public areas.

Hornsby’s venture has drawn praise from local community leaders, citing its economic and environmental benefits to the community.

“David Hornsby has long been one of Blount County’s leading innovators and Hornsby Steel continues to be one of the county’s strongest companies,” said Aimee Wilson, the executive director of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.

“With the expansion of Hornsby and the addition of its subsidiary, Sun Charge Systems, the company is poised to become one of the county’s top 10 employers,” she added.

Hornsby’s venture reflects a gradual but promising trend of opening solar power companies in the United States. Currently, there are only about 91 businesses in the country that provide solar power, but that number is growing. The average lasting time for a solar panel is 30 years.

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With the costs of solar panels dropping by nearly 99% in the past 40 years, and an increased awareness of the climate crisis, there has been a renewed push towards green energies, like solar, in recent years. Southern states have the chance to lead the way as their abundance of sunny days allows for more energy production. Although any reputable solar panel system company will tell you, it’s the sunshine, not the heat, that helps.

When you compare solar panel companies it becomes clear that placement of solar panels in ways to maximize time spent in direct sunlight is the key. Direct sunlight in Alaska, with temperatures in the 20s is as effective as sunlight in Alabama. The additional heat does not translate to more energy being produced by the solar panels.

As some of the best rated solar companies begin to expand their reach into Alabama, it is clear that this once strange technology is finally becoming mainstream.

With all the concern over conservation and reducing the impact we have on the environment day in and day out, the push for finding renewable energy sources has become a major talking point for conservationists and politicians as well across the country and even here in the state of Alabama. One of the most commonly discussed options for renewable energy is solar power. Affordable residential solar power has become more easily accessible over the past five to ten years and as alternative energy equipment continues to be developed and perfected, it is becoming a viable option for more and more people. Industries everywhere are starting to look for ways to become more sustainable and less wasteful with their energy consumption. Alabama businesses that use solar energy are becoming the standard for others to follow as more and more customers are searching for businesses to support that share their views and concerns about the environment. Solar energy is the next obvious step in the growth and progress as we as a society start to move away from fossil fuels here in Alabama. It is easier than ever to buy small solar panels for your home or business and it is an efficient way to do your part to protect the environment and reduce the impact mankind is having on the world.