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USA: Get charged up at Gwinnett Arena thanks to Jackson EMC

When The Arena at Gwinnett Center chose Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) as its power provider in 2001, an energy and community partnership was formed.

Jackson EMC has worked closely with The Arena on many conservation strategies to fit their desire for energy efficiency. One of those strategies was providing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for what was then a newly emerging automobile segment that held the promise of increased energy independence. Today this partnership continues with the recent upgrade of Gwinnett Arena’s EV charging stations.

Charging stations were first made available to the public, free of charge, at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in January 2005. But advances in EV technology, and an expanding market of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), prompted an upgrade this year of the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) or charging equipment at The Arena.

“In the late 1990s and early 2000s, plug-in vehicles were fairly rare, very expensive and usually only available by lease,” notes Jackson EMC Commercial and Industrial Marketing Engineer Brittany Romig. “Even now, hybrid vehicles are much more common than plug-ins, but that’s changing as new models enter the market and prices decline. While the charging stations used to get only about 3 kWh of use per month, in 2012 that use has increased to an average of 10 kWh per month, and we expect that trend to continue.”

Romig, along with Jackson EMC Director of Commercial and Industrial Marketing Lee Chapman and Senior Commercial and Industrial Marketing Representative David Lee, worked with The Arena at Gwinnett Center and local EV specialists, Metro Plug-In, to upgrade the existing chargers.

The charging stations have been upgraded to Level 2 charging stations, which are dedicated 240-volt circuits. The upgraded Level 2 charging stations add approximately 10 to 20 miles of range to a PEV per hour of charging time and also significantly reduce the charging time. They were also relocated to allow for better accessibility. The new charging stations will provide EVSE options for all Northeast Georgia EVs, as well as those simply passing through.

“This public service project through The Arena and Jackson EMC is a great example of the publicly and privately funded projects that are accelerating the deployment of public stations,” says The Arena at Gwinnett Center General Manager Joey Dennis. “Visitors to Gwinnett Center will be able to recharge their plug-in vehicles while they attend events. Through the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center, travelers will also be able to find and take advantage of these public charging stations.”

The EVSE station upgrades were completed in mid-August.

Jackson EMC is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Georgia serving more than 185,600 residential and 20,200 commercial and industrial customers in 10 metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia counties, including Gwinnett. Learn more at



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