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Electric vehicle charge stations planned for municipal facilities

by Patrick Raftis

MINTO - Minto council has authorized the installation of four electric vehicle charging stations at municipal facilities through the province’s Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Incentive Program.

In January, council partnered with Arntjen Solar in preparing and submitting an application for 80% funding under the incentive program to install electric vehicle charging equipment at the municipal administration centre, Harriston-Minto Community Centre, Palmerston Community Center and Lions Heritage Park in Palmerston.

The application, submitted by Arntjen on behalf of the town, was successful for all four sites. The program requires a capital contribution by the town and Arntjen, explained CAO Bill White in a report to council at the July 3 meeting. The town fronts the capital costs and then receives a 60% rebate on the project and shares charger revenue 50/50 with Arntjen, making the net cost to the town $4,800 or $1,200 per site.

CAO Bill White said project just made it under a deadline for proceeding with approved projects, as the program was  cancelled by the new newly-installed provincial government on July 4. Approved recipients were advised they will have to provide receipts or purchase orders made no later than July 3, which were to be submitted to the Ministry of Transportation by the end of the day on July 11. Installation of the chargers and a follow-up report are then required no later than Nov. 12, 2018.

In a July 6 email, White told the Advertiser he believes council’s July 3 resolution to proceed was sufficient to keep the project eligible.

“Based on emails with Arntjen Wednesday morning (July 4) the project is proceeding apparently just under the deadline.”

Councillor Dave Turton asked if the chargers could be expected to “wear out” or “get old.”

Jurgen van Dijken of Arntjen Solar explained the units carry a 10-year warranty and software is updated automatically, similar to a cellular telephone. He said the Level 2 units being installed are compatible with all North American, European or Japanese-made vehicles.

“They’re ideal for places where you spend at least two to three hours - either a workplace or a community centre or an arena. It’s an additional charge for your battery,” he explained.

White pointed out the charges could eventually be used for municipal vehicles.

“We don’t have electric vehicles yet. We do need a new vehicle in the building department. One of the trucks is getting older. If this council or another one thought it was worth pursuing we could get an electric vehicle, then we would have a charging station,” said White, who emphasized the chargers would be available to the public when not in use by employees.

 “If you build them, they’ll come. It’s something that’s going to happen. These electric vehicles are coming,” said Turton.

July 13, 2018


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