Largest EV charging centre in California opens in Santa Clara

Santa Clara vehicle charging centre

California state grant provides funding for large facility with 49 charging stations using off-peak and solar power as part of the energy delivery strategy.

The largest public multi-standard electric vehicle charging facility in California has officially opened in Santa Clara, as city and electric vehicle (EV) industry officials celebrated the Santa Clara Electric Vehicle Charging Centre located at the city’s Tasman Parking Garage. The parking structure, situated near the Santa Clara Convention Center, Levi’s Stadium and the California Great America theme park, features 48 Level 2 chargers and one DC Fast Charger.

Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility Silicon Valley Power (SVP) collaborated with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Joint Venture Silicon Valley, ChargePoint and MJR Electric to obtain a grant of $393,000 from the California Energy Commission to pay for the equipment and construction of the charging centre. Santa Clara staff provided labour and operational expenses of the facility are expected to be covered by usage fees from EV drivers.

“This is a milestone in our city’s commitment to fighting climate change and it sets a standard for local action in California,” said Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “This garage also features a rooftop solar array and state-of-the-art power storage capability.”

The 6-storey parking structure has a 370-kilowatt photovoltaic installation and uses battery technology from Green Charge Networks to help offset peak power demand with stored power to lower costs. While the solar power does not go directly to the charging stations, it does flow into the local SVP grid, which in turn provides the facility’s electricity.

Industry analysts say that California accounts for 40 percent of the 116,000 EVs reported sold in the US in 2015.

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