(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Community College celebrates a new solar EV charging station at its Hilo Campus on Wednesday.
Just in time for Earth Day, electric vehicle (EV) owners on Hawai‘i Island have a new place to charge their vehicles for free using clean, renewable solar energy: the Hawai‘i Community College Manono Campus in Hilo.
On Wednesday, April 13, Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai’i CC) celebrated the installation of the first solar EV charging station at its Manono Campus, which is also the first portable solar charging station of its kind on Hawai’i Island.
Now available for students, faculty, staff and members of the public, the charging station is the result of a collaboration between GreeInvest, LLC and Hawai‘i CC, and it demonstrates the college’s leadership on sustainability.
“Hawai‘i Community College is committed to being a part of the solution to the many environmental challenges we face,” said Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas. “There are numerous examples of how we are accomplishing this, including this new solar EV charging station. Mahalo to our Environmental Sustainability Committee and GreeInvest for working together to provide this service to the campus and community.”
The Hawai‘i CC Faculty Senate created a resolution to bring an EV charger to campus, and soon after, the Environmental Sustainability Committee began talks with GreeInvest about how sustainable charging options could be integrated at the campus.
“The Hawai’i CC Environmental Sustainability Committee was formed to turn thought into action and bring sustainability initiatives to fruition on our campus and in our community,” said Debbie Weeks, Hawaii CC Science instructor, and Ka’ea Lyons, Hawaiian studies instructor, who co-chair the Environmental Sustainability Committee. “Our major achievement for our first year in existence is bringing the first portable commercial solar EV charger to the island. The installation of this charger has taken place amid a recent spike in fuel prices, which has highlighted the need for alternative sources of energy.”
Hawai‘i CC student Stephanie Carroll, who is majoring in Early Childhood Education, is an EV owner and was excited to learn about the new charger.
“As an EV owner, charging stations are very important to me and it can be difficult to access them,” Carroll said. “I’m really excited this is happening. It’s one more option for me, and the fact that it’s solar makes it even better.”
GreeInvest CEO Michael Ryer saw the demand for charging opportunities on Hawai‘i Island and began exploring different options.
“After extensive research, I began working with BEAM Global, which manufactures solar-powered, portable EV chargers,” said Ryer. “Getting one of these chargers deployed on Hawai‘i Island became my goal and now it’s a reality.”
The EV ARCTM was manufactured by BEAM Global, a provider of innovative sustainable technology for EV charging that is off-grid. It is completely powered by the sun via a 4.3 kW solar canopy and can provide up to 225 e-miles daily range, depending on local weather conditions. The device has a 21 x 10.6 ft canopy with a height of 15.3 ft. The unit sits on a base pad of 18 x 7.5 ft and weighs 12,500 lbs.
The charger acquisition and transport to Hawai’i Island was fully funded by GreeInvest. GreeInvest has located the EV ARC at the college, which will host free charging to EV owners on campus.