February 20, 2018
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Chewonki installs electric car charging station

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Chewonki sustainability officer Tom Twist, (R to L) technician Jamie Kane,and facilities manager Carob Arnold show off the new car charging station. Photo courtesy of Chewonki

WISCASSET, Maine — Chewonki has installed one of the first electric car charging stations in midcoast Maine. The unit, installed in July by sustainability officer Tom Twist, facilities manager Carob Arnold, and technician Jamie Kane, sits in a handsome new post-and-beam kiosk that was custom built for this purpose outside Chewonki’s Center for Environmental Education. The charger is powered by 100 percent green energy.

“We are pretty excited about this first for Chewonki,” noted Tom, adding that the station is the latest in a host of cutting-edge renewable energy systems unveiled at Chewonki in the last several decades, including a biodiesel production facility, a wind turbine, photovoltaic systems, a geothermal system, and even a first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation renewable hydrogen system. The dual 70-amp car charger, made by Eaton, provides a standard hookup for both battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, such as Prius.

The expected cost for filling up the battery bank of an electric car is about $1 for a 100-mile trip. Chewonki is making the charging station available to all staff and Chewonki guests free of charge. Over time, Chewonki will round out its fleet of vehicles with the inclusion of a plug-in electric vehicle. “The low cost of charging as well as the minimal maintenance that the vehicles require make electric cars very appealing,” noted Twist.

A handful of passionate Chewonki trustees spearheaded the project. ” We are appreciative of the gifts which funded the installation of a charging station, said Chewonki board chair John Warren. “It is important for Chewonki to lead by example, demonstrate its commitment to supporting alternative sources of energy, and continually offer means for reducing its carbon footprint.”

The kiosk includes room for educational signage and two additional chargers, which can be added over time.