Published July 23, 2012
Plug In Carolina received $35,000 from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to purchase green electricity and educational signage for Plug In Carolina’s 96 electric-vehicle charging stations.
The South Carolina-based network is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
The funds were presented at the S.C. Clean Energy Summit in Columbia last week.
“Electric cars are better for the environment regardless of the source of electricity generation,” said James Poch, executive director of Plug In Carolina. “But now our network will purchase electricity from renewable, sustainable sources like solar, wind, biomass and hydro-based electricity.”
Poch also said the cost to fuel vehicles with renewable sources is significantly less than that of gasoline.
The charging stations are located in Charleston, Columbia, Conway, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill, Spartanburg, Surfside Beach and Union. Plug In Carolina remotely monitors the energy usage and will use the money to pay the premium for green electricity. Poch said the first three months of the network saw more than 500 charging sessions and expects growth in the coming year.
This also means local providers will find a new market for their solar, wind, biomass and hydro generation. Examples of South Carolina providers include the Palmetto Clean Energy program, Santee Cooper’s Green Power program and Lockhart Power. This will allow consumers to use domestic sources of energy for transportation rather than foreign oil.
Plug In Carolina is a nonprofit established in 2006. It has the support of SCE&G, Santee Cooper, Progress Energy, Lockhart Power, S.C. electric cooperatives and SEW-Eurodrive. The organization educates on the environmental, economic and national security benefits of plug-in vehicles. In 2010, Plug In Carolina received $480,000 in grant money to deploy the electric-vehicle charging network across South Carolina.