In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Ian Jones watched as over 8 million homes lost power in 17 states. With thousands of people draining their car batteries to charge their phones, he instinctively recognized the need for an off-grid solution that would provide electricity during major power outages. A few miles away, Ian’s college buddy from UPenn, Jim Innes, witnessed the same devastation. So many people lost power and were frantically trying to connect with loved ones. The grid had failed them. He was convinced that there had to be a better way.

When Ian and Jim got together a few months after Hurricane Sandy, they realized they both had the same idea. Off-grid charging was the solution.

Jim Innes always had a passion for green energy development, which led to a career in solar PV installation. He and his team helped the historical Joshua House Building and many other businesses “go green” and save money by converting to solar.

Combining their knowledge and skillsets, the two formed The ConnecTable solar charging station.

Public spaces could now be transformed into safe, dependable charging zones. ConnecTable gained instant popularity among the university sector and over 30 ConnecTables were installed throughout the University of California school system.

By infusing new technology, new minds, and new thinking, the product line evolved from charging docks to outdoor workstations. As new products were developed, the need for a name change was imperative.

In 2018, The ConnecTable was renamed to Sunbolt.

Today, you will find these workstations all over the United States and Mexico, and Sunbolt continues to expand, with Ian and Jim working assiduously on their innovations in the renewable energy community.

“These units meet a need by bringing electricity to areas where students congregate but where there is little or no infrastructure to support it. It also demonstrates a commitment towards green power and towards fulfilling the university’s goal of reducing carbon emissions”

– Uma Ramasubramanian, Sr. Physical Planner in Capital Resource Management, UCR