New Middlebury electric car charging station juices up vehicles much faster
MIDDLEBURY — Green Mountain Power has partnered with the town of Middlebury to open a new station for charging electric cars — one that charges car batteries faster than earlier technology. The utility is also offering grants to pair solar power producing arrays with electric car charging stations.
The new NRG EVgo Freedom Station off Mill Street in downtown Middlebury was sited in Addison County so that it would be at a convenient location between Rutland and Burlington.
GMP and NRG EVgo are installing at least 10 Freedom Stations statewide this year, increasing Vermont’s energy independence and contributing to cleaner air and lower carbon emissions.
“Our efforts to build a comprehensive EV charging network is making it is easier and faster to charge electric vehicles,” said GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure. “Our goal is to help Vermonters save money and reduce fossil fuel use through innovative products and services like these chargers, all while continuing to provide reliable, clean and cost-effective power.”
The town of Middlebury was one of the early adopters of charging stations.
“The town of Middlebury eagerly accepted Green Mountain Power’s offer to team up to upgrade, manage and increase awareness of the town’s electric vehicle charging station to promote the use of the station as part of the EV charging station network,” Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay said.
She noted that the original electric car charging station has been well-used and appreciated by local commuters since its installation in 2014.
The EVgo charging station at the Middlebury Mill Street parking lot replaces the existing charging station and will have an ABB fast charger that serves all electric vehicles (Tesla owners need an adapter), and a dual port Level 2 station. The GMP NRG EVgo Freedom Station is capable of providing approximately 80 percent of a battery charge in 25 minutes when using the DC fast-charging option.
The chargers also have Level 2 capabilities that provide up to 24 miles of charge per hour. GMP and NRG EVgo offer customers the option to pay as they go or sign up for various monthly charging memberships starting around $5.95 a month. Memberships are available for GMP customers at 1-877-494-3833 or www.greenmountainpower.com/evgo, but anyone can pay by credit card at the charging station.
“We are thrilled to enhance our partnership with Middlebury,” said Schnure. “Helping people become comfortable driving low-emission electric vehicles is a win for everyone.”
CHARGING CARS WITH SOLAR POWER
Meanwhile, Green Mountain Power is hoping to power some of its electric car charging stations with solar power. Late last week the company announced that it was offering nearly $50,000 in four separate grants to build four solar-paired electric vehicle charging stations. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 23.
“We are so excited to be placing more charging stations where lots of Vermonters will use them, and having the sun power it all,” Schnure said. “Our goal is to help Vermonters save money and reduce fossil fuel use through innovative products and services like these chargers paired with solar, all while continuing to provide highly reliable, clean and cost-effective power.”
People and businesses can apply for the four grants. Grant recipients will be chosen based on how suitable their proposal is for charging stations, including locating in areas with high visibility and the availability of activities, such as shopping, to engage people nearby while they charge and help boost business in downtowns.
Applications should be submitted via email to [email protected] and should include a description of the project, the location, and other sources of funding to leverage the best projects. GMP will work with the Clean Energy Development Fund to coordinate these projects.
“Installing solar panels along with the EV chargers is a great way to increase renewable generation while customers fill up with clean electricity to run their cars,” Schnure said. “This is part of an exciting energy transformation we are partnering with customers on — where energy is generated and used closer to home.”
Green Mountain Power has committed to build a comprehensive fast charging network across the state, and has already installed 38 charging stations across Vermont.
Vermont is the first New England state to be added to NRG EVgo’s national public fast-charging network, and GMP is the first utility in the country to partner to expand the EVgo network.
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