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USA: Main Street proposes electric car stations

MARTINSBURG – Main Street Martinsburg wants to put a solar-powered charging station for electric cars in the East Burke Street parking lot, but a lot of questions, such as how to pay for it, must be answered before implementation.

Randy Lewis, executive director of Main Street Martinsburg, explained to members of Martinsburg’s Parking Authority at a recent meeting that he intends to enter the plan in the annual Main Street West Virginia innovation awards competition. Lewis also is on the authority.

“This would be the only municipal charging station in West Virginia,” he said.

Main Street Martinsburg is teaming with MTV Solar of Berkeley Springs for the project.

The first-place winner in the contest gets $15,000 to implement its plan, Lewis said. Main Street Martinsburg has won second place for its submissions the past two years, he said, winning $8,000 for the runner-up spots.

If Main Street Martinsburg were to win first place for the solar-powered electric car charger, the prize money would go toward paying for it, Lewis said. However, he estimated the total cost to be about $19,000. Main Street Martinsburg would cover the balance, he said.

Parking Authority members raised several more questions about liability, security, reserving the parking spaces exclusively for electric cars, time limits and other issues.

Lewis also pointed out that he still is in negotiations with the owners of the building on which the solar panels would go.

He proposes to put photo-voltaic solar panels, the kind that turns sunlight into electricity, on the roof of a First United Bank’s utility building.
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