Ghent welcomes e-cars to get a charge here

GHENT–With the official opening of its first electric vehicle charging station, Ghent has been deemed a Clean Energy Community by the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on June 21 with the Ghent Town Board, members of the Ghent Climate Smart Committee, and Chatham Village officials present.

The charging station, located in the parking lot of Kinderhook Bank in Depot Square, was installed as a part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative and has made Ghent eligible to apply for a $35,000 grant for use in funding further clean energy projects. Since its activation on May 10, the charging station had around 50 uses by the end of June.

“The charging station’s activation completed the last of four high-impact, clean energy actions that led to the town being designated a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community,” Town Supervisor Mike Benvenuto said. “I would also like to thank Chatham Mayor Tom Curran and the Village Board for their cooperation in locating this charging station where it will greatly benefit both the town and the village.”

Ghent town Supervisor Mike Benvenuto (c) holds one of the two electric car charging cables at the Depot Square parking lot in the Village of Chatham at the official opening of the service last month. Around him are representatives from the Town Board, Chatham Mayor Tom Curran members of the Village Board and the Ghent Climate Smart Committee. Photo by Claire Gilbert

The Town’s other three actions to attain eligibility for the grant include the tracking of town energy use, adoption of the state’s Unified Solar Permit to process permitting of solar installations, as well as having the town building Inspector and officials attend Energy Code Enforcement training.

The charging station has also made Ghent eligible to apply for funding up to $250,000 from NYSERDA. The authority is accepting applications on a rolling basis through the end of September 2019 to fund further clean energy projects, with funds coming from the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Ghent’s Climate Smart Committee worked with officials from the Village of Chatham to complete the charging station installation, because Ghent’s charger is located in the part of the village that lies within the Town of Ghent. The station was installed using funds from a state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) grant, with a 20% match from Ghent in the form of labor from the Ghent Highway Department.

“Having this station affords new opportunities for our residents and visitors, to recharge their vehicle while at work, shopping, or taking in a dinner and a movie,” Chatham Mayor Tom Curran said, adding, “Thank you, Town of Ghent.”

The Town of Chatham now operates a similar charger in the part of the village that lies within that town. That charger, located in the municipal parking lot near the Tracy Memorial Town Hall, was funded in a similar manner.

More information on Clean Energy Communities is available at www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec.

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