A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

USA: Solar power outlook brightens with vehicle charging stations set for RR depot

Thousands of Westport commuters rely on the electrical grid to power the trains that take them to work from the Saugatuck Railroad Station each day. Soon, they will be able to take advantage of a brighter source to get them to and from the station.

By the end of the year, the town is set to activate its first solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations at the Saugatuck station. A 27-kilowatt solar-panel solar array on the roof of the rail depot’s eastbound terminal will feed electricity to the charging stations.

To advance the project, the Board of Selectmen approved Wednesday an installation and maintenance contract for the solar-panel system.

“I think it really puts Westport on the forefront of solar technology innovations and alternative energy,” Building Official Steve Smith said. “It will be a blueprint for other communities.”

The Stratford-based energy-solutions firm Encon will install the solar array. ECI Energy, which has the same owners as Encon, will run and maintain the solar-panel installation and cover its costs. The project will not require town funding. ECI will bill the town for the electricity the solar panels produce — a rate expected to cost 30 percent less than if the town bought that power from a major utility.

The Saugatuck station’s EV charging center is scheduled to open by the end of this year, according to Smith. It will open with four charging stations — two for train station parking permit-holders and two for daily users. Solar power at the Saugatuck station could eventually service up to 20 charging stations, Smith added.

“It’s a very significant project,” said Glenn Cucinell, Encon’s solar division manager. “We’re able to not only put in solar to save the town money, but we’re also going to incorporate charging stations for electric cars which is perfect for a transportation hub like the town of Westport.”

Construction of the railroad station’s solar array is scheduled to begin within the next month, Cucinell added. The EV hub at the station will comprise the first solar-powered charging station for vehicles along Metro-North’s New Haven line.


Leave a Reply