FAIRHOPE – Drivers of electric vehicles will soon have additional charging options on the Eastern Shore following actions by Fairhope and Daphne.
The Fairhope City Council voted Monday, Aug. 9 to install five charging stations downtown at a cost of $55,090.
The city of Daphne recently installed three electric vehicle charging stations at Daphne City Hall. One station with two chargers is in the front lot off Main Street, and two stations with four chargers are located in the north next to Belrose Avenue.
The stations were installed in partnership with Riviera Utilities.
Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan said the Alabama Municipal Electric Association is paying for the Fairhope stations.
“These are for the charging stations that we are going to be putting out here in the Civic Center parking lot along with the ones that we are going to be going to go in the parking deck and that is funded through AMEA so actually, I think our grant amount with AMEA is $59,000 so it should cover this whole amount of those charging station,” Sullivan said.
The stations at City Hall will be powered in part by a canopy of solar panels that the AMEA is also building in Fairhope. The canopy of 72 solar panels will generate about 36,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, city officials said.
Sullivan said the City Hall charging stations will also be connected to the municipal power supply so customers can charge their vehicles when the sun is not shining.
Anyone wanting to use the stations can plug his or her car into the charger and swipe a credit or debit card to pay for the service, Sullivan said.
The AMEA is building solar power installations at member cities throughout Alabama. Solar farms to generate 50 kilowatts of power are planned in each community. The Fairhope parking lot canopy will generate 24 kilowatts. An additional facility in another part of Fairhope is also planned to bring the city’s solar power capacity up to 50 kilowatts, AMEA officials said.