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Visiting Santa Fe

2015 April, Santa Fe Tourism Centers Introduce Free Solar Phone Charging

April 20, 2015: TOURISM Santa Fe has launched a partnership with Stay.Solar, a New Mexico company bringing solar energy to the hospitality industry, to provide solar energy for charging phones and other digital devices. The state-of-the art solar technology has been installed for the first time anywhere in the TOURISM Santa Fe visitor centers to provide free access to solar energy for charging and powering traveler’s devices at plug-in charging stations.

“Scaling up the use of renewable energy, including solar, is one of my top priorities, and is incredibly important to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Santa Fe Mayor Javier M. Gonzales. “We’re excited to offer this technology through our visitor centers, and we see this as a very useful tool to help move the conversation about solar energy forward.”

What visitors will discover in the city’s visitor centers looks similar to a standard, round charging station with several electrical outlets and USB ports. Yet behind this familiar hardware is a highly specialized technology produced by Albuquerque’s Plug.Solar, a sister company of Stay.Solar. This technology measures power being drawn from the electric grid and matches it against new solar energy fed into the grid from panels located elsewhere.

“Santa Fe is a premier place to visit for many reasons: the weather, the art, the people,” said Randy Randall, TOURISM Santa Fe executive director. “Now visitors can also enjoy our commitment to sustainable energy and innovation. As soon as people enter our visitor centers, they’ll find cutting-edge technology delivering free solar to charge their devices. They’ll see firsthand that our 400-year-old city not only has an exciting, storied past, but also a dynamic and influential future.”

Tracking The Sun
When energy produced at a solar farm goes into the electric grid, it becomes indistinguishable from energy produced by any other source. The only way to track solar energy is to track credits issued when it enters the grid. TOURISM Santa Fe, with the help of Stay.Solar technology, uses solar credits along with electricity from the grid, to power the Stay.Solar charging stations. Previously, this system of credits was only accessible to businesses with lawyers and accountants to handle the paperwork, but now it is easily and affordably available to anyone using this new technology.

“What excites us most is the potential for this technology to support tourism all around Santa Fe,” Stay.Solar President Don Hicks said. “Hotel Santa Fe has already partnered with Stay.Solar to provide solar energy in all guest rooms—a first in the nation. Soon we will have solar charging stations—just like those in the Santa Fe visitor centers—in Stay.Solar partnered hotel lobbies as well. We’re working with hotels to change the way people think about and use solar energy. Our hotels encourage their guests to rest easy, comfortable in the knowledge that they are using sustainable solar energy during their stay.”

Working with TOURISM Santa Fe is a natural fit for Stay.Solar. Hotel Santa Fe was the nation’s first Stay.Solar hotel and now all the city’s guests can get a solar recharge at the visitor center, while learning what other unique experiences The City Different offers.

“TOURISM Santa Fe is the perfect fit for this technology,” Hicks said. “They want the best for the community and for everyone who visits Santa Fe. This partnership will increase access to and understanding of solar energy, plus it will help the City of Santa Fe further stand out as a leader in the tourism industry.”
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Media Contacts:
John Feins
TOURISM Santa Fe
Tel: 505 955 6221
jgfeins@santafenm.gov

Carlyn Topkin
Lou Hammond & Associates
Tel: (212) 891-0214; (212) 891-0246
carlynt@louhammond.com

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