LPEA has in place charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) at its offices in Durango and has been working with the Town of Pagosa and Archuleta County for the past several months to make it “happen” there as well. Good news. Installation is right around the proverbial street corner.
“As a cooperative, LPEA always endeavors to support our members with current concerns, but we’re also looking ahead and preparing for the future,” says Dan Harms, manager of rates, technology and energy policy. “Electric vehicles are shifting the transportation fuel market away from gasoline and toward electricity for their power, and we’re finding that our members are embracing these new, high tech vehicles. Thus, local charging stations are growing in demand, so we want to help. We’re pleased to be working with the Town of Pagosa in furthering this effort.”
In January, the Pagosa Springs Town Council approved installation of a Level II ChargePoint EV charging station in Pagosa’s Centennial Park parking lot, which is an optimal location for those utilizing the service to shop, walk and dine in the area. Two outlets will be available for charging, and the station is also ADA accessible.
To finance the charging station in Pagosa, LPEA applied for a Charge Ahead Colorado grant, which provided $9,000 to assist with installation. LPEA will add an estimated $5,700 to complete the project.
Level II EV stations advertise to provide a full charge for new generation electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and Ford Focus in about four hours. Currently, “plugging in” to LPEA’s charging stations in Durango is free, and the Pagosa station will also offer the service free through 2019. LPEA is studying the need, use and costs for EV charging stations, and it is anticipated that fees for the electricity used at the stations will begin in 2020.
The selected location, from LPEA’s perspective, is optimal, as adequate electrical infrastructure is already in place in Centennial Park. However, “snow melt” will be required before the full installation of the charging station can be completed.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative celebrating 80 years in 2019, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 43,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.