BATAVIA — For those who drive electric vehicles, there are four new charging stations off of East Main Street.
There was a ribbon-cutting Thursday for the recently installed National Grid Make-Ready Electric Vehicle (EV) stations — two in the lot next to City Church, 210 East Main, and two next to T.F. Brown’s/Mancuso Bowling Center, 214 East Main — next to City Church.
National Grid Customer and Community Engagement Manager Paul Gister said EV stations have become more popular among landlords seeking to attract and retain tenants. They also help the state achieve its energy targets by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He said they are part of a growing trend across New York state.
“Electric vehicle adoption continues to gain an opportunity,” he said. “In addition, we are demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and to the community. We talk all the time with municipalities, customers and organizations ... to learn about their needs. Oftentimes, our programs can help meet energy efficiency targets or support economic development projects. Projects like these will help New York state reach its target of reducing greenhouse emissions by 40% by the year 2030.
Gister said National Grid has the Make-Ready program budgeted to go through 2025, at least. He said customers may contact him and he will speak to Whitney Skeans, senior program manager, electric vehicles, NY, contact the customer work through what needs to be done initially to get the process started. Information about the EV program may be found at https://www.nationalgridus.com/Upstate-NY-Business/Energy-Saving-Programs/Electric-Vehicle-Charging-Station-Program.
Gister said there is an app, PlugShare, available so people can see to see where National Grid charging stations are across the state.
Gister said National Grid has a partial role in installation of the charging stations.
“The customer coordinates with the contractor and we compensate the customer through various levels of incentives for the installation,” he said. “Typically what we cover is the groundwork, from the charging station to the customer’s service panel in their building. All the underground work that contains the conduit and wire, and all the trenching, is usually covered by National Grid’s Incentive Program.”
Customers work with a contractor first to get an initial proposal. The customer then comes to National Grid with the proposal to fill out an application and work through the process.
The cost to put in a station varies greatly, Gister said.
“It depends on whether you’re going under the blacktop, sidewalk, green grass,” he said.
Skeans said the first step for a customer interested in putting a charging station in his or her lot is to connect with one of National Grid’s approved installer.
“We have a network of electricians that work with us and they will visit your site. They will walk your property and they will determine what it takes to connect the power source with the location of the station,” she said. “From there, they write up a bid. They present that to the customer.”
If the customer wants to proceed, Steans said, the electrician will typically apply to National Grid on behalf of the customer.
“Then we determine incentives and provide that to the customer,” she said.
Beth Kemp, executive director of the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) said BID’s Board of Directors is always discussing and working on projects, events, grants and opportunities that enhance downtown for the community and visitors. These events, projects and grants also act as a mechanism to drive people into small businesses to attract more people here and to spur the economic climate here in downtown Batavia, she said.
“This project really aligns with our mission and I am so thankful to see it come to fruition here today,” she said.
Kemp said the four new charging stations currently cost $1 per charging session.
BID Board President Donald Brown said with more electric vehicles on the road, it was important for BID to accommodate these drivers and begin installing the needed infrastructure.
“BID was excited to learn about National Grid’s Make-Ready EV program and, with their assistance, we were able to move forward with these additions to our downtown, for not only attracting and retaining new customers and tenants, (but) EV charging stations also help us all be a little greener,” he said.
National Grid’s program covered more than 90% of the infrastructure costs to install them, Brown noted.
“We’re also thankful for the support from NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) ,,, and as well to Rick Mancuso and Marty MacDonald for allowing the stations to be installed on their properties,” Brown said.
City Church Pastor Marty MacDonald said BID has been talking about the charging stations for a long time.
“It’s really incredible that we stand here in beautiful weather and we see that fruition of that coming to pass, everyone knowing that electric cars are going to be more a part of our future,” he said. “I’m just so thankful that we have had a small part in it with National Grid as well.
Rick Mancuso, owner of Mancuso Bowling Center and T.F. Brown’s, said Mancuso Bowling Center had the chance to have EV stations through programs offered by National Grid and NYSERDA through the Downtown BID.
“We believe that with the increase of electric car sales there will be a need for stations and, at the same time, these stations will drive traffic to the downtown area as well as the surrounding businesses,” he said.
Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Erik Fix said the Chamber believes passionately in collaborations that enhance our abilities to live, work and play in Genesee County.
“We are grateful for our partnership with National Grid and the BID and appreciate them working together to bring EV car-charging stations to downtown Batavia. Congratulations to both organizations and thank you to National Grid for continuing to invest in our community.”