Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, along with Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, environmental partners and community leaders, celebrated the grand opening of the township’s four new state-of-the-art Solar Car Charging Stations during a press conference held at Point Lookout’s East Marina. Among the first vehicles to utilize the new environmentally friendly charging stations will be two additions to the Town of Hempstead fleet that were unveiled at the press conference – a pair of John Deere Gator Electric Vehicles. The two vehicles competed head-to-head in a celebratory race to welcome the new additions to the town fleet.
“It’s the first full day of summer and the sun is out in full force. Is there any better setting to hold a road race with electric cars powered by the sun,” Murray said. “We’re excited to celebrate the opening of three solar charging stations here at East Marina and one more next door at our Conservation and Waterways office.”
The new solar car charging ports are each capable of powering two electric-powered vehicles. Each station offers two levels of charging (120V and 240V) to provide power for an array of electric vehicles.
The charging station units and the associated solar canopy have a value of approximately $200,000. The canopy was funded with federal grant monies secured by the town while the charging station units were provided to the town by Green Power Technologies with the benefit of federal grants provided to that company. The 14K system was installed by EmPower Solar. The solar car ports at East Marina will be open to the public and will be free of charge (during an evaluation period).
With one overnight charge, the two electric-powered John Deere “Gator” vehicles can be used all day for transportation, as well as hauling up to 500 pounds of materials. One of the new vehicles will be stationed at the Oceanside Nature Study Area, with the other at the Department of Conservation and Waterways headquarters in Point Lookout. These two new welcome additions add to an already eco-friendly fleet that includes Toyota fuel-cell vehicles and a hydrogen-natural gas bus at Conservation and Waterways. Other renewable energy vehicles will also be added to the fleet, including fuel cell and electric cars.
“The sun is beating down on us but it is also helping us to beat our planet’s reliance on fossil fuel,” Murray concluded. “Together we’re building a clean energy legacy for our children and future generations.”