April 24 2013 12:00 AM

Solar-powered, two-bay BWL carport permanently installed

BWL General Manager Peter Lark speaks at a press conference on Tuesday at the unveiling of the new solar-powered electric carport at Lansing City Market (Courtesy photo)

Wednesday, April 24 — On Tuesday, city and Board of Water and Light officials unveiled a new solar-powered, two-bay electric car charging station at the Lansing City Market.

“Mid-Michigan residents, especially electric vehicle owners, can be proud that this project makes our community an even more attractive choice for shopping and doing business in the downtown area. All signs point to this being a successful endeavor and a huge step in the direction of sustainable energy use,” said BWL General Manager Peter Lark in a statement.

The carport was paid for by BWL as gift to the city and is part of the “Live Lansing Green” sustainability program as well as the BWL’s “Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Project,” which aims to expand the ease electric vehicle usage.

According to a press release, the costs of operating the charging station should be “near-zero” because the solar-powered station will use the sun to produce electricity. When the carport is not being used, the electricity the station creates will go back into the BWL grid to supply power elsewhere.

The charging station cost $60,000 to build and was part of a U.S. Department of Energy program to push for use of green transportation technology. The BWL has built over 40 charging stations in the region at both residential and commercial sites.

“Lansing is once again leading the way on cleaner, greener practices that conserve energy, reduce pollution and improve our environment,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in a statement.