This is something a little different. The SunPort is set to launch a kickstarter next week. You’ve heard about rooftop solar and you’ve hopefully heard about community solar but the SunPort is a nifty device that lets you buy solar power pretty much anywhere you go—as you long as you bring the plug with you.
So how does this little doohickey work? The company explains it this way: “SunPort is a small plug adaptor that lets you use solar power everywhere you go, without panels, just by plugging in. This “wearable tech for power cords” measures the electricity you take from any outlet and automatically upgrades it to solar, similar to how big companies have been upgrading to clean energy for years.”
Basically it’s a plug-and-play energy monitor that sticks in between the outlet and whatever you plug into it. It monitors how much energy is consumed by whatever is plugged in to it and the owner or user of the device purchases microcredits for the power consumed through the SunPort. Currently the solar microcredits help fund ReChoice solar projects through the purchase of SunJoules. The SunJoules are like miniature solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). SRECs are usually purchased by the kilowatt hour. Since it can take a device like a laptop a long time to use a kilowatt hour of electricity, the SunPort’s SunJoules allow for the purchase of a fraction of an SREC.
"For a laptop computer, it's probably in the range of $1 to $2 a month, and it could be considerably less," SunPort CEO Paul Droege told Fortune. "The cost is really very small."
The device was originally called the Sun Bloom and Plug.Solar, but the nascent company renamed it SunPort to get rid of some confusion ahead of launching a kickstarter campaign.
The little product has some interesting potential. It was launched in New Mexico and ReChoice focusses on New Mexico projects is a New Mexican nonprofit. But in the future it could be feasible to open up the platform allowing the user to choose what organization the purchase of SunJoules could benefit.
Ultimately the public will likely decide whether or not the device sees the light. The kickstarter campaign is set to launch July 28. In the meantime check the device out here: http://sunport.coTweet