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County applies for more vehicle charging stations

by Patrick Raftis

GUELPH - Wellington County will apply for federal funding for up to seven additional electric vehicle charging stations.

At its Jan. 25 meeting, county council approved an administration, finance and human resources committee recommendation to apply to a Natural Resources Canada program for up to 50% of the total project costs, to a maximum of $50,000 per charging unit.

The county’s share will be funded from the Green Initiatives Reserve.

In June of 2016, the county received $215,076 from the provincial government’s electric vehicle grant program to fund the capital and installation costs of level three charging stations at the Puslinch and Arthur libraries and at the Social Services office in Guelph.

Level three charging stations are preferred over level two stations as they allow an electric vehicle to charge to 80% in only 20 to 30 minutes versus eight to 10 hours for the lower voltage level two stations, explains a report from county purchasing and risk management services manager Mark Bolzon.

Under the program, if approved, the county will own and be required to operate and maintain each charging station for a minimum of five years after installation.

The actual cost to purchase and install the units was $247,880 (about $82,627 each), resulting in a shortfall of funding of approximately $11,000 per unit, Bolzon explained in his report.

The annual maintenance fees for the three units are $6,000 per year. The county is currently charging a fee of a $12 per hour, pro-rated by the minute, plus a $2.50 flat fee per session to users of the stations.

The report notes the Puslinch location was the busiest of the three in terms of charging sessions, with 138 sessions between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2017.

The sessions utilized 1,105 kwh of energy and generated $558 in revenue.

During the same period, the Arthur station was utilized 45 times, requiring 767 kwh of energy and brought in $362, while the Guelph station was used for 83 sessions, requiring 1066 kwh of energy and generating $634 in fees.

Natural Resources Canada recently announced an additional $80 million in funding over the next four years for Phase 2 of the initiative.

Bolzon notes this phase of the program will be limited to a maximum of $5,000,000 per project. For electric vehicle fast chargers, the program will pay up to 50% of the total project costs to a maximum of $50,000 per unit.

“If all eight locations receive approval for funding it is estimated that each unit would cost approximately $85,000,” Bolzon explained in his report.

“The county would receive funding for 50% of that cost, $42,500, totaling $340,000. The county would then be responsible for the difference.”

Bolzon’s report recommended applying for funding for chargers at eight locations not approved in the original 2016 application:

- the Wellington County administration centre in Guelph;

- Wellington County Museum and Archives - Wellington Terrace, Aboyne;

- North Wellington OPP Operations Centre, Teviotdale;

- Clifford Library and Medical Centre;

- Drayton Library;

- Mount Forest Child Care and Learning Centre;

- South Wellington OPP Operations Centre, Rockwood; and

- Hillsburgh Library.

The committee recommended applying for seven of the sites, dropping the Clifford library location.

A charger station, installed through a Town of Minto partnership with a private sector company, is already located at the nearby Clifford arena.

February 9, 2018


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