New College student wins OZY Genius Award for solar energy invention

Living sustainably isn’t a lifestyle most people inherit, but for an incoming fourth-year student at New College in Sarasota, the path to sustainable living was set in stone before she was born. 

Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt, 20, won this year’s OZY Genius Award for her invention called GismoPower – a mobile solar-powered carport with an integrated electric vehicle charger. She was chosen out of thousands of applicants for the prestigious honor plus a $10,000 cash prize. 

GismoPower solar carport at the Ginsberg-Klemmt residence.

Ginsberg-Klemmt’s passion for renewable energy didn’t start in college; she was raised to value sustainable living. Her parents lived on a sailboat for years to reduce their carbon footprint and instilled those ideals in their daughter and her siblings.

“We lived on a sailboat for many years,” said Ginsberg-Klemmt’s mother, Erika. “I would say we really started going solar around 1995, that’s when we brought our first panels on board in Puerto Rico, and it was amazing. You don’t have to turn on a motor every time you turned on a light switch or a radio, or anything else you’d need power for. That was an exciting and exhilarating time.”