The Commonwealth’s clean energy revolution took hold of Lexington’s Friday morning as energy conscious officials mustered to announce the award of 105 electric vehicle charging stations to 25 Massachusetts cities and towns.
“That revolution, appropriately, starts here, on the Lexington Green, as we take the discussion of where our energy comes from, how we use our energy and change the way we think and, ultimately, the way we act,” said state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. “We are taking this discussion city by city, town by town, business by business and, in fact, home by home, to have people rethink their energy use.”
Lexington expects to receive three charging stations, which will be located at sites approved by the state. Other cities and towns receiving charging stations include Athol, Barnstable, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Falmouth, Greenfield, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lowell, Nantucket, New Bedford, New Salem, Newton, Northampton, Orange, Salem, Tyngsboro and Worcester.
The state is also installing additional charging stations at Logan Airport garages, Logan Express parking lots and MBTA commuter rail parking locations, officials said.
According to an EEA press release, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) invited cities and towns to apply for electric vehicle charging station equipment grants, funded through a settlement attained by the Attorney General’s Office and a public private partnership with Coulomb Technologies.
The California-based Coulomb received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to provide installation of electric charging equipment and re-granted awards in the form of charging stations to Massachusetts communities through the company’s ChargePoint America program.
There were puns aplenty Friday morning at the Battle Green as local officials, such as state Rep. Jay Kaufman, made their remarks.
“Today we’re here in ways that our forbearers could never have imagined, to give new meaning to the term re-volt,” said Kaufman, a Lexington democrat. “I worked on that.”
Kaufman also introduced Hank Manz, chairman of Lexington’s Board of Selectmen, as “one of the more electrifying members of our local establishment.”
Manz noted the town’s efforts toward energy consumption, such as purchasing hybrid vehicles used by the , which resides in a LEED Silver certified building, and looking into an anaerobic digestion facility.
“This is not a fleeting fancy in Lexington, the whole idea of energy conservation is paramount with us,” he said. “The governor and lt gov have recognized the chicken and egg dilemma that if individuals are going to be comfortable in purchasing an electric vehicle, they must also be assured that there are available charing stations for those vehicles.”
Lexington, home to industrial parks with thousands of high-tech workers and tourist attractions that attract a significant number of out-of-town visitors, is a natural location for the charging stations, Manz said.
“We are thrilled to partner with the state on this important initiative," he said. "And we look forward to being a leader in the next revolution to energy sustainability.”
According to Town Manager Carl Valente, the charging stations will be sited at three locations approved by the state. The town’s preference would be to put one in Lexington Center, one on Hartwell Avenue and a third near the .
The stations will pull electricity from poles and be metered, according to Valente, who expects the town will monitor the amount of electricity used.
Most likely the juice will be free at first, but the town could install card-swiping technology at some point, Valente said.