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USA: Lafayette Installs Green Technology

The City of Lafayette has upgraded a parking garage in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. The city installed new LED lighting fixtures and two electric vehicle charging stations in the Lafayette Parking Garage. They expect the improvements to save $4,000 annually.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The city of Lafayette hosted a news conference Monday, April 9, in the Lafayette Parking Garage, 18 N. Fifth St., to showcase the garage’s new LED lighting and two recently installed electric vehicle charging stations.

“The LED lighting and these charging stations are two more environmentally sound steps the city of Lafayette is taking as we continue to lead and model green initiatives,” Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said.

In all, the city is installing 148 new light fixtures. LED fixtures are replacing 23 fluorescent exit signs and 93 pendulum, 24 pole-mounted and six wall-pack metal halide lighting fixtures. Also, two 8-foot, 2-lamp T12 fixtures with be replaced with four 2-lamp T8 fixtures.

The expense for the replacement fixtures was $121,438, fully funded by an Energy Efficiency Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The city expects its annual cost savings on electricity to be about $4,000 with the LED lighting.

A Chevrolet Volt, brought to the garage by representatives of Lafayette’s DeFouw Chevrolet and BMW Inc., was used to demonstrate the new charging stations.

“Lafayette is the first municipality in the Duke Energy Project Plug-IN program to receive charging stations,” said Kevin Johnston, Duke Energy Indiana northwest Indiana district manager.

Duke Energy has also installed 43 residential charging stations, another 10 at Indiana state parks and two workplace charging locations.

“As part of Project Plug-IN, we will continue to install residential units as customers purchase electric vehicles,” Johnston said. “We are also in the process of installing additional public charging units in other Indiana cities as well as several retail locations.”

John Christodoulakis, owner of Lafayette’s Red Seven restaurant and a member of the Lafayette Parking Commission, gave the garage improvements a thumbs-up.

“As more electric vehicles come on the market, it’s important to downtown businesses that there be public charging stations available,” he said. “The installation of these stations reflects our city’s foresight and interest, too, in environmentally sound practices. As the hub of Lafayette’s dining and night life, downtown will be well served by the addition of these charging stations.”

The two Siemens level 2 charging stations are part of a two-year pilot program by Duke Energy, which owns them and will operate and monitor them. The program’s purpose is to demonstrate a commercial-scale station and evaluate load profiles, grid impacts and equipment function.

There was no cost to the city for the stations or installation, and at the end of the two years, Duke Energy will give the stations to the city.

The stations, located near the interior stair wells on the first and second floors, can each accommodate one car at a time.

Equipment was provided through Energy Systems Network’s Project Plug-IN initiative, which received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funding through the Indiana Office of Energy Development to expand charging infrastructure.

“By studying customers’ charging habits, we will better understand how personal electric vehicles will integrate into the grid,” Johnston said. “Knowing what amount of charging occurs during peak demand times and what electric vehicle owners expect from their charging experience will help us maintain overall reliability while minimizing costs for all customers.

“Our mission is to provide affordable, reliable and increasingly clean energy to our customers,” Johnston said. “We are pleased to partner with Project Plug-IN as we work to understand electric vehicles and their impact to the power grid, which is a critical part of achieving that goal.”

Dennis Carson, director of the city’s Economic Development Department, said, “The city of Lafayette is always eager to consider and implement green initiatives. This pilot program is especially appealing because it places charging stations in a public venue.”

Built in 1997, the three-story Lafayette Parking Garage has 480 parking spaces.
Customers interested in purchasing an electric vehicle can learn more about Duke Energy’s pilot program at

Besides a long-running recycling program, other green initiatives by the city include the LEED-certified renovation of the building at 515 Columbia St., which houses the city’s Economic Development Department. A portion of that building also has a green roof.
Source: City of Lafayette


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