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Two Partnerships Expand Access To Clean Energy & Transport In The Eastern US

As we close the year out, I wanted to mention a couple of neat energy projects we learned about this month from the Eastern United States. They not only help increase access to clean energy and clean transport, but they’re helping level the playing field in other ways.

Autel Energy Partners With Minority-Owned Legacy Clean Energy To Bring EV Charging To Businesses & Disadvantaged Communities

The first story comes from New York and North Carolina. Autel Energy, a renowned creator of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, has aligned with Legacy Clean Energy (LCE), an esteemed minority-owned business in Charlotte, NC. This partnership offers EV charging solutions for corporations and marginalized communities across the country.

LCE is the definitive solution for all your electric vehicle charging needs. Whether you are a dealership, public or commercial fleet manager, municipality, rideshare operator or looking for new parking applications, it provides advanced AC and High-Power DC charging infrastructure to suit any requirement. At LCE, its portfolio of services fulfills each customer’s success criteria and financial goals. Our offerings span from EV charging hardware and software acquisition, infrastructure plan development, design execution, installation, and commissioning of both hardware and software to activation.

“As a member of the historically disadvantaged and underserved minority community, I want LCE to become a strong voice for my community regarding matters of clean energy,” said Donny Smith, LCE’s CEO.

Autel, being a fresh face in the EV charging solutions industry since September, has already established itself as a dominant influencer. Its products are unique and modernized with seamless design elements, superior efficiency standards and advanced technologies that position them ahead of its competitors.

Autel offers unparalleled charging hardware for AC home and commercial applications, as well as bi-directional V2X charging. Its hi-power DC Charging range further boasts capacities from 40KW to 480KW. As part of its comprehensive lineup of commercial products, Autel provides dynamic communication protocols on a highly efficient and flexible network that is packed with robust feature sets.

“As a key member of the EV market, Legacy Clean Energy’s faith and trust in Autel Energy is a humbling endorsement of our products and technologies and a testament to our high standards for quality and after-sales customer experience. Autel’s decision to partner with Legacy Clean Energy reflects our continued investment in building diversity within our strategic partnership space. We are beyond excited to welcome Legacy Clean Energy into the Autel Energy family of partners!” said Andrew Byrne, Autel’s North American Sales Director.

Image provided by LCE and Autel

SEPTA & Lightsource BT Move Pennsylvania’s Clean Energy Goals Forward With A Second Solar Project

Another news item comes from Pennsylvania, where we’re seeing a large-scale solar project follow one from earlier. SEPTA and Lightsource bp have joined forces to expand their energy efficiency efforts, with a 25-megawatt solar project now in commercial operation. With the addition of this second solar farm to SEPTA’s statewide portfolio, both companies boast an impressive 42 megawatts — enough electricity to fulfill 20% of SEPTA’s total demand. This strategic partnership is revolutionizing sustainability for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

“SEPTA is proud to be an industry leader in utilizing new technologies that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the quality of life for our customers and the communities we serve.” said Leslie S. Richards, SEPTA CEO and General Manager. “One of the main goals of our strategic business plan, SEPTA Forward, is to enhance sustainability and expand our access to renewable energy sources. We have taken a major step forward with these solar farms, and we look forward to launching more innovative projects and partnerships.”

By partnering with Lightsource bp, SEPTA’s Elk Hill Solar 1 project has enabled Pennsylvania to reduce its carbon footprint by 28,000 metric tons of CO2 each year — that is the same as removing 6,160 vehicles fueled by fossil fuels from our roads! The solar farm not only contributes to achieving PA’s clean energy goals but also increases energy security and diversifies their portfolio. As a bonus, it was developed and owned & operated solely by Lightsource bp.

“In addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions by generating electricity from Pennsylvania home-grown renewable energy sources, solar projects like these can help strengthen local rural economies across the Commonwealth,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource. “Our multiuse land strategies further multiply the benefits of these projects.”

There will be a number of key local benefits.

Lightsource bp and project investors committed an estimated $25 million to build new energy infrastructure in Pennsylvania, demonstrating their commitment to providing cost-competitive and locally generated renewable energy. The Elk Hill Solar 1 facility was constructed with the creation of 100 jobs, showcasing how it positively impacts local economies. This investment shows that there is a shift towards clean and sustainable sources of power – something everyone can get behind!

To promote local sustainability and biodiversity, Elk Hill Solar 1 has outlined an extensive long-term land management plan. This ambitious action plan encompasses the creation of habitats and co-located agricultural activity to farm the land while also capturing solar energy.

Lightsource bp is committed to creating a sustainable environment that not only produces clean energy but also supports the growth of beneficial vegetation. To do this, it is planting native wildflowers and clover species in and around its solar panel installations as well as collaborating with local farmers on plans to graze sheep in order to manage the land while simultaneously improving soil health and fostering biodiversity.

Some Final Thoughts

Neither of these stories alone sounds like much, but we’re seeing big changes happening to energy and transportation worldwide. What are these big changes made up of? Mostly smaller deals and projects that add up in the end. Seeing utility scale solar power transportation and EV charging manufacturing help in disadvantaged communities shows us that clean technology is no longer something only the wealthy and well-connected benefit from or use.

Hopefully we’ll see a third solar project with SEPTA and Lightsource bp, and hopefully we see many LCE/Autel units go into service charging lower-priced EVs in 2023 and beyond!

Featured Image provided by SEPTA and Lightsource.

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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.


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