By Sean Jackson,Sustainable Transportation Fellow
In the Adirondacks one of the largest contributors of carbon emissions is transportation. That being said, the future of transportation is looking up and green. With more and more electric vehicle and plug-in electric hybrid models becoming available every quarter, the necessary infrastructure (charging stations) to charge them has been following. I’m proud to say that over Spring Break, Paul Smith’s College and Apex Solar completed the installation of 5 electric vehicle charging stations with the ability to accommodate up to 10 vehicles at a time. This $90K project was supported entirely by grant funding from NYSERDA’s (New York State Research Energy and Development Authority) Paul Smith’s College Installs 5 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Charge NY Grant and National Grid’s Electric Vehicle SE Charging Station programs. What this means is that the project was completed at no cost to the college.
Supported by ChargePoint software, our Phase 2 chargers (pretty fast!)are located across three different locations both on campus and at the VIC. Each station has 2 charging ports on either side to accommodate charging of up to 2 vehicles at a time. The most visible station is located in the commuter lot, out in front of Currier Hall with a total of two ports. The other on campus stations (2 more) are located behind our facilities buildings in parking lot 1. The remaining 2 stations live at the VIC to serve visitors to the VIC.
These new additions to our campus infrastructure are great- but what next? Coming in the Fall of 2020 the Center for Sustainability will be hosting an event to showcase our new charging stations to work with owners of electric vehicles, local car dealers, and energy providers to address the benefits of electric vehicles and hybrids in the North Country. Another key component of this event is to connect the North Country’s electric vehicle initiatives and give potential EV customers a chance to get behind the wheel! These are efforts to connect the charging network laterally with the help of organizations like the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and the Green Energy Consumer Alliance (GECA).
We may be in uncertain times, but we must stay encouraged. State leaders are pushing to make New York a front runner in the transition towards a sustainable energy system and economy- and many corporations are listening. These ambitious goals are supported by legislation such as New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act as well as commitment of companies like GM announcing things like 400+ mile electric vehicle ranges and the release of 20 new electric models by 2023. Change is coming to transportation and Paul Smith’s is going to be ready to welcome these exciting developments when they arrive.