The charging station was built and donated by Beaverton-based OpConnect, according to the city’s sustainability director Cindy Tatham. It was the first charging station the company had ever made.
Tatham said the city unplugged it several months ago because it wasn’t working properly.
Luckily, however, a new collection of electric vehicle charges is scheduled to be installed this spring.
Beaverton, in the Portland area, is one of several communities targeted by ECOtality, which has a $115 million grant from the United States Department of Energy aimed at rolling out infrastructure for electric vehicles. They will install roughly 15,000 residential and public electric vehicle charging stations in 18 cities around the country.
Tatham said she expects ECOtality to install two stations at Beaverton’s City Hall and four more at the library.
The city conducted site audits and is preparing the meters and electrical equipment for the installations, Tatham said.
Officials at ECOtality said they don’t expect to begin installing public charging stations until April.
The cool thing about this installation in Beaverton is that it will coincide with the city’s new solar initiative. Beaverton recently contracted with LiveLight Energy to lead its city-organized solarization effort to get 220 homeowners to go solar.
The city chose LiveLight, in large part, because of its promise to provide community education programs.
LiveLight also gifted a solar canopy to the city’s farmers’ market.
The canopy will feed into the same meter from which the new electric vehicle charging units will draw their power, Tatham said.
“It’s kind of different,” Tatham said. “The car-charging stations themselves won’t be solar-powered, but there will be renewable energy feeding into the same meter.”
The canopy won’t generate enough power to supply all the electric car chargers’ needs, but should at least make a small dent.
The city of 87,000 residents is preparing for a major influx in the number of electric vehicles on its streets, according to local news article.
And it’s one of the only cities in the country to create its own major solar initiative and company partnership, Tatham said.
Pictured: Envision’s Solar Tracking Tree, an example of solar-powered car charging, albeit on a larger scale.