Grand Lake approves vehicle charging station | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Lake approves vehicle charging station

Electric vehicle drivers will soon have an additional charging stop in the high Rockies. The Town of Grand Lake is moving forward with plans to install a vehicle charging station in the lakeside community early this summer.

Nearly a decade ago, before the global oil market took a radical decline, the price of crude oil reached an all time high of $145 per barrel. At the time surging petroleum prices and longstanding concerns over climate change prompted a wave of developments in hybrid and electric cars, aimed at reducing the pain consumers felt at the pump while also mitigating environmental impacts resulting from burning fossil fuels. Part of that was the development and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

Numerous communities in Colorado and throughout the nation have since installed charging stations including two Grand County communities, Winter Park and Kremmling. Kremmling was the first community in Grand County, and the first public entity on US Highway 40 between Idaho Springs and Vernal Utah, to offer a municipal electric vehicle charging station in May 2015. Winter Park followed in the early winter last year; installing two wall mounted charging stations in November.

Grand Lake has been working to secure funding for their own charging station since late last year when Town officials began coordinating with the Colorado Energy Office to apply for grants to help cover costs of installing the station. The community was able to secure a grant from the Colorado Energy Office for approximately $6,000 to apply to the project. Additionally Mountain Parks Electric is providing the Town with a stipend worth $3,000, which will be dispersed after installation of the station is complete.

According to Grand Lake Town Manager Jim White the Town put out a request for bid proposals on the project in March and received bids from contractors in early April. The Board approved the project and awarded the bid to Verdak during their late April Board of Trustees meeting with a total bid price of $12,000.

Grand Lake's electric vehicle charging station will be a dual port system, allowing for two vehicles to be charged at any given time. The station will be a freestanding pedestal style charging station and the Town is currently planning to install the station near the public restrooms by Lake Park. White said Verdak is planning a site visit sometime next week and he hopes installation of the station will be completed sometime shortly before or after the Memorial Day weekend.

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The Town is still mulling the decision of whether or not to charge a fee to users who recharge their vehicles at the station. To help reduce overall costs associated with the project White said the Town would be doing specific portions of work on the project including pouring the concrete pad for the charging station and digging necessary trenches.

"We are pretty excited about it (the electric vehicle charging station)," said White. "This is something new for us. We are on the learning curve." White made a special point of expressing his thanks to Mountain Parks Electric Board member Liz McIntyre for her help with the project.

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