Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 19th July
Keep an eye on our EV incentives page for more updates and follow @barrytwoods on twitter for more EV-specific info happening in the Northeast and nationally. Remember to check www.drivelectricweek.org for electric vehicle ride and drive events coming to your community between Sept 25 and Oct 3 as part of National Drive Electric Week. If you want to test drive these vehicles and get the straight scoop from owners, go to one of these events!
Maine is keeping us busy these days. We just won awards from Efficiency Maine for installing, owning, and operating DC Fast Chargers (DCFC) at two sites critical to the state’s ongoing electrification efforts. Hannaford Brothers has generously allowed us to build out these charging clusters at their Ellsworth and Belfast locations using ChargePoint hardware. It will be our first real opportunity to find out what it takes to own and maintain DCFC’ers for a growing electric driver population here in Maine (as well as help our great tourism industry). We’ll also be involved in a number of other installations as part of their latest round of Volkswagen-funded projects to grow the fast charging network. These should be operational in the first half of 2022. Thank you, Efficiency Maine!
We are also finalizing fourteen Level-Two charging projects (each with four or more charging ports) as part of CMP’s first “make ready” program. These projects cover a wide geography and host site demographic, including Saddleback Ski Area, Bates College, Oxford Casino, Holiday Inn (Wells) , the towns of Belfast, Lisbon, Kittery, Wells, Old Orchard Beach, Falmouth Police Department, and Southern Maine Health Care (Biddeford). CMP has developed a robust EV team internally and is streamlining the process to allow easier and more economical development of charging resources in their service territory. We expect Versant to initiate similar make ready funding efforts in the near future as well. Utility efforts and investment are critical to the long term success of transitioning to electricity and away from fossil fuels.
We completed Level-Two smart charging projects with the City of Augusta and are working with Fairfield and Cape Elizabeth to place charging resources for additional public use, including charging at Fairfield’s Police Department (whose Police Chief now drives a Hyundai Kona for work!) and soon at Cape Elizabeth’s Fort Williams and Portland Headlight park!
Lastly both Portland and South Portland are beginning to expand their metro area charging resources and meet their joint climate action plan. Check out their city websites for more details. We’ve already added smart charging at Payson Park, Portland Jetport, City Hall and soon the High Street public lot.
Besides light duty work, we expect to perform the installation of fast charging infrastructure for Portland Metro’s new all-electric Proterra 40’ transit buses due for arrival late 2021. This will involve three terminals, Portland, Biddeford and Saco, so longer, clean bus runs will be a reality for the first time. The world of medium and heavy duty is starting to go electric in a big way, with school buses and public and private fleets getting more and more options to choose from.
While a bit quieter than other states, we are optimistic that New Hampshire will soon release plans for placement of an initial fast charging network. This is Volkswagen-funded and will address resident and tourist-based charging needs along major travel corridors.
We worked with Liberty Utility to place Level-Two ChargePoint units that they will own and operate at the Tuscan Village commercial/retail development in Salem. Liberty is also planning on placing DCFC’ers at this location in the near future. We are now completing our install of Level-Two chargers on Green Street in Concord. We will be owning and operating those units while providing critical usage data to the state.
Utility and state-based funding remain the central play in MA these days. Both Eversource and National Grid have nearly completed their first phase of Level-Two and DC Fast Charging funding, and will be going back to the DPU for a grander scale second phase. We have a number of Level-Two and DCFC’er projects in the pipeline with towns and private entities through these programs. We completed a retrofit at Hanover Mercedes Benz as they (and many other dealers) begin to invest in charging infrastructure for their upcoming newest line of plug in electrics. MA continues to hasten its transition to driving electric, with a goal of 300,000 plug-ins by 2025.