Getting greener all the time

Apr 29, 2021 by

Published April 30, 2021

By GAIL LOWE

MELROSE—The City of Melrose, in partnership with National Grid, observed Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, in an innovative and forward thinking way.

Representatives from the utility company announced the deployment of pole-mounted electric vehicle (EV) chargers, unveiling a first-in-the-region program intended to expand EV adoption, accelerate usage and lower installation costs. The city is the first in the state to use the chargers, and information gathered from the project will be factored into the future National Grid EV partnerships with additional cities and towns.

About 35 people gathered on the grounds of Mt. Hood Golf Club on Slayton Road for a ribbon cutting ceremony, including Melrose Mayor Paul Brodeur, Senator Jason Lewis, National Grid Municipal Energy Efficiency Rep Lori Timmermann, Superintendent of Mt. Hood Golf Course and Public Open Space Joan Bell and others.

MELROSE MAYOR PAUL BRODEUR attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Mt. Hood Golf Club for the deployment of a pole-mounted electric vehicle (EV) charger on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22. “There’s an awakening in the country to go green,” he said.

“This year Melrose is celebrating 10 years as a Green Community,” said Brodeur. “This program is an important step in promoting EV adoption in our community, offsetting emissions and moving us closer to our NetZero 2050 goal. I am incredibly thankful for the collaboration with National Grid in getting this project off the ground. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day.”

National Grid Vice President of Growth and Marketing Tara Kapila, joined Brodeur by saying, “As we mark Earth Day, we know the importance of transitioning to a clean energy future. By deploying these EV chargers on our utility poles, we are doing our part in providing equitable access to this growing technology.”

A total of 16 chargers will be located at 10 sites throughout the city—including Berwick, Tremont and Green streets—by mid-summer on National Grid poles. Customers will use an app to lower the charger for use on their vehicles, a benefit for those without a private garage or dedicated parking. The chargers, which will be owned by the city, will leverage electricity on poles and reduce installation costs compared to ground-mounted stations by 70 percent by eliminating digging related construction activities. When operational, the Melrose project will represent the first deployment of elevated, pole-mounted EV chargers by an investor-owned utility in the United States.

Mt. Hood Superintendent Joan Bell called the charger at the Golf Club “awesome.” “Lots of patrons will find it useful and convenient,” she said.

Pole-mounted EV chargers are just one of many efforts National Grid is undertaking to accelerate electric transportation in Massachusetts. Transportation is the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts at 43 percent, and the expansion of EV’s is a feasible route to help the state become net-zero by 2050.

In 2018, National Grid received approval to invest $20 million to add 680 charging stations at workplaces, public places, multi-family dwellings and for commercial and public fleets in Massachusetts. Of the 500 charging stations already installed, 70 percent are publicly accessible while one-third are in underserved communities. Advancing clean transportation is one of the 10 focus areas in National Grid’s Net-Zero by 2050 Plan.

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