SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (STCC) – Springfield Technical Community College has installed two electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in one of the campus’ parking lots as part of an effort to reduce fossil fuel emissions and encourage green energy.
The charging stations are in operation and available for use by the public as well as students, faculty and staff at STCC. Each charging station can accommodate two vehicles.
“STCC is installing them now because we were lucky enough to participate in an Eversource Energy incentive opportunity which made them feasible,” said Thomas Therrien, director of operations for the Facilities Department at STCC. “We’re thrilled to have these charging stations on campus. It’s part of STCC’s commitment to protecting the climate and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Eversource paid for the infrastructure installation through its EV Make Ready program, and since STCC is in an environmental justice community, Eversource also covered the cost of the EV chargers. STCC will pay an annual service fee.
“Environmental justice community” is a term to describe situations where multiple factors, including both environmental and socioeconomic stressors, may affect health and the environment.
“We are proud to help Springfield Technical Community College offer EV charging to its students, faculty and staff,“ said James Cater of Eversource. “As a catalyst for clean energy, we welcome the opportunity to help our customers make progress toward their sustainability goals by installing EV charging stations.”
The charging stations feature a full motion color LCD display that instructs drivers how to use them. Stations are located in Lot A in front of Garvey Hall, which is accessible from Federal Street.
STCC is participating in Eversource’s EV Make Ready Program, which has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to encourage development of an electric vehicle marketplace and to facilitate deployment and use of electric vehicles throughout Massachusetts.
STCC’s actions drew praise from Tanisha Arena, executive director at Arise for Social Justice, a Springfield-based organization that advocates for low-income people. Part of its mission is to push for environmental justice.
“I think it is an important step for the organization because it’s about ease of access, for one,” Arena said. “If folks with electric vehicles know they can charge their cars on campus, it brings them to the area and perhaps they will spend more time in the city patronizing small businesses.”
Arena added, “Springfield is designated as an environmental justice community and has a failing air quality grade from the American Lung Association. More than half of our residents have asthma or other respiratory issues. A reduction in emissions is good for all of us.”