ORLANDO – OUC–The Reliable One recently unveiled two electric-vehicle charging stations. One is now available for public use. The other – Orlando’s first solar-powered charging station – supports plug-in vehicles in OUC’s fleet.
Located in the visitor parking area at Reliable Plaza, OUC’s downtown customer service and administration center, the new public charging station enables electric-vehicle operators to pull up, plug-in and begin charging their car’s batteries by using a special key fob payment device similar to an E-Pass.
The solar-powered charging station, also at Reliable Plaza, gets its electricity from an array of 16 photovoltaic panels that generate up to 2.8 kilowatts of electricity – enough energy to charge the batteries of OUC’s plug-in hybrid in four hours. This station is able to charge two vehicles at a time.
“At OUC, we see the charging stations as an opportunity to lead the way in supporting an electric-vehicle infrastructure,” said Jennifer Szaro, renewable energy manager at OUC. “This is a community-wide effort to stay ahead of the curve. Another publicly available electric-vehicle charging station is located at the Orange County Convention Center.”
In order to help prepare the region to support plug-in electric vehicles, OUC partnered with the City of Orlando, Orange County, Progress Energy, the Orange County Convention Center and others as part of a national non-profit initiative called Project Get Ready. The initiative provides a forum to interact with other partner cities and technical advisors regarding best practices.
“OUC is working to prepare for the future as the automotive industry changes in response to consumer demand for greener, more sustainable options,” said Byron Knibbs, vice president of sustainable services for OUC. “The regional effort is important because nearly every automobile maker has a plug-in vehicle planned by 2012.”
OUC—The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to more than 254,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties.