Monday, April 22, 2024
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Window Cliffs Gets New Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Window Cliffs State Natural Area getting a new solar-powered electric vehicle charging station.

The Tennessee Department of Environment And Conservation announced the addition Thursday. EV drivers can charge their car for free while taking the five-and-a-half mile hike. The station is completely solar powered and is not tied into the electrical grid. Burgess Falls State Park Ranger Blaine Crabtree said the charging station is not like the ones you see in parking lots.

“When we were told we need to make sure we have clearance that’s about 25-feet high, we were like man they’re bringing I guess a pretty big truck, I don’t know why we’re bringing that over, these stations aren’t that big,” Crabtree said. “The next day when we came in and saw it, it was like wow that’s not what any of us expected.”

An EV station was also installed in Pogue Creek Canyon’s Astronomy Field in Fentress County. Crabtree said the charging station does clash with the natural ambiance of Window Cliffs. However, he said he understands the need for EV charging stations.

“It helps promote within the general populations, hey, let’s actually start going green,” Crabtree said. “With fuel emissions and these large vehicles that we drive, they are impacting so much of the environment.”

Crabtree said he has already seen the station being used by hikers.

“I know a lot of other parks are switching to them,” Crabtree said. “It’s not the traditional kind of smaller charging station that you think of. It is a large actual charging tower that has a big solar panel on it. It’ll change the solar panel to face the direction that the sun is in.”

The station was installed as part of a 2021 Memorandum of Agreement between TDEC and the TVA to promote the development of an EV charging network in the state. TDEC, in partnership with Rivian, also plans to have two small charging stations installed at every viable Tennessee State Park. That project is already underway.

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