Van Buren takes delivery of 3 EV charging stations

9 months ago

VAN BUREN, Maine — Three level 3 electric vehicle fast charging stations were recently delivered to the town of Van Buren. 

Level 3, or direct current, is the fastest charging station of the available electric vehicle charging options.

Town Manager Luke Dyer said on Wednesday that the town is awaiting the arrival of a transformer powerful enough to handle the three charging stations. The transformer is expected to arrive in either September or early October. Installation should be complete by late October, he said.

The charging stations are coming to the border town courtesy of a $291,000 grant from Efficiency Maine. The grant is fully funded and requires no match from the town. Van Buren was the only municipality to receive the grant.

“An installation team will arrive and, over the course of a week, will do all the groundwork and installation of the units,” he said. “The units will be fully functional upon the departure of the install team.”

The stations will be located at 88 Main St., directly behind the Farmers Market. 

“We have specific maintenance agreements as part of our terms of the grant, but our municipality is unique in that we don’t have ‘demand charges’ for electricity that other recipients would have to agree to,” he said. 

This is because the town has its own electric utility district, Van Buren Light & Power. The district was established in the early 20th century. The district is subscriber-owned, which Dyer says results in a much more cost-effective deal for electricity. And without demand charges, users will only need to pay the meter fee. 

“The grant allowed for the cost of the demand charges of the first five years of the project,” Dyer said. “After that, the fees are on the grant recipient. This difference made the cost of our project in the grant proposal $130,000 less than other applicants.”

Three grants were also awarded to Irving Oil Marketing. This will allow Irving to install charging stations at 32 Houlton Road in Baileyville, 800 Main St. in Presque Isle, and 308 W. Main St. in Fort Kent.