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DEC celebrates Earth Day with opening of solar-powered electric car-charging station at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve

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Thu, Apr 27th 2017 05:15 pm

New station helps drivers use sunshine for fuel

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and partners celebrated Earth Day with the opening of a new solar-powered electric car-charging station at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Depew.

"Together with our partners, we're making it easier for drivers in Western New York to use sunshine for fuel with the installation of a new solar carport," DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder said. "The station provides us with a way to use the sun to fuel an electric vehicle without connecting to the energy grid, helping us lead by example, and engaging our visitors to explore how our transportation needs can be met with clean energy."

"I am thrilled to see the installation of solar-powered electric vehicle-charging stations at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve," New York State Assemblywoman Monica Wallace said. "Families from across Western New York have long enjoyed having Reinstein Woods as a place to spend an afternoon to observe and learn more about the environment right here in our community. This new feature will go a long way to attracting more families to visit this beautiful nature preserve and learn more about how we can protect and preserve our environment."

Reinstein Woods Center Director Meaghan Boyce-Green said, "We want to help people realize that electric cars are the future, but that doesn't mean that travel has to be limited. Innovations like this charging station demonstrates how solar power can be harnessed anywhere."

Friends of Reinstein Woods' President Terrence Boyle said, "This charging station can serve as a conversation-starter to engage visitors to Reinstein Woods in exploring how we can all lower our carbon footprints. In light of Gov. Cuomo's recently announced Drive Clean Initiative offering rebates for electric car purchases, the timing couldn't be better."

Envision Solar CEO Desmond Wheatley said, "We are delighted to see New York state get so much value from the EV ARC by charging NEVs and EVs from nothing but sunshine and providing USB and 120v outlets for other charging and emergency power needs. The digital information screen rounds out a fantastic value proposition and ensures that visitors and staff in the park get the most robust solution the industry has to offer."

Invented and manufactured in California by a company called Envision Solar, the electric vehicle (EV) charging station, or EV ARC, carport generates enough clean, solar electricity to power up to 150 miles of EV driving each day. The system consists of a solar panel that will power a battery that dispenses energy to vehicles, providing solar energy even when the sun isn't shining. The system can charge two vehicles simultaneously and is designed to lower the collective carbon footprint.

A state-of-the-art television screen attached to the charging station provides information on the station's performance and also broadcasts information about upcoming Reinstein Woods' events. The screen is set to operate 12 hours per day, advertising to visitors even when the education center is closed. The station was paid for by a private donation from the Julia Boyer Reinstein Trust.

The newly installed EV ARC charging unit is located in the parking lot adjacent to the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center at 93 Honorine Drive.

For more information about Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/1837.html.

Through Cuomo's nation-leading "Reforming the Energy Vision" strategy, New York is committed to protecting the environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and helping the state transition to renewable energy.

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