General Motors selected the partnership of Standard Solar, Inc. and TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. to build one of the first solar EV charging stations in the nation at its Allison Transmission plant near Baltimore. For commutes of 25 miles or less, the system provides 100% emissions-free driving by powering electric vehicles—such as the Chevy Volt—exclusively from renewable solar power.

When asked by General Motors (GM) to design and provide a leasing program for a solar EV charging station at its Allison Transmission plant, TimberRock immediately turned to its long-time partner Standard Solar to execute the project. Standard Solar and TimberRock worked with GM to design a 10 kW system with four level 1 (120V) charging stations and four level 2 (240V) faster station. The system’s anticipated energy production will be about 12,500 kWh per year. The Chevy Volt batteries contain 8 kWh of energy, so the solar array can fully charge the batteries 1,562 times per year—or, six Chevy Volts can be charged every working day of the year. The environmental benefits are dramatic: about twelve fewer tons of CO2 gas per year are released into the atmosphere by using solar power to charge the Chevy Volt’s batteries.

General Motors Electrical Vehicle Charging Station
System Description

42 solar modules rated at 240 watts each are connected to Enphase micro-inverters mounted on the module frame. Modules are arranged in six rows of seven modules each on the carport frame. System integrates four Level 1 (120V) chargers and four Level 2 (240V) chargers. A web-based monitoring system measures and captures the amount of kWh consumed by the chargers and produced by the solar modules.

GM wanted to showcase its Chevy Volt electric vehicle as a successful example of clean, efficient transportation that uses renewable solar power, and develop an effective solution to charge the Volt’s batteries. The company relied on the partnership of Standard Solar and TimberRock Energy Systems to build a four-car carport charging station to use for demonstration at its Allison Transmission Facility in White Marsh, Maryland.

TimberRock and Standard Solar designed a custom carport structure to hold solar modules able to produce 10 kW and tie into the facility’s electrical system. The carport features eight EV charging stations mounted on the structure’s support columns. Four of the stations are Level 1 chargers and allow the 120V extension cords that come with the car to be plugged in; the other four stations are 240V Level 2 chargers that include the special J1772 plug that fits into a receptacle built into the car.

This initial system is just the first that TimberRock and Standard Solar expect to provide to GM. GM has committed to a nation-wide deployment of solar EV charging stations across its dealership network which the Standard Solar + TimberRock partnership will support. The leasing arrangement structured for GM is likewise applicable to other commercial customers. As EV adoption by both individuals and commercial fleets continue, Standard Solar and TimberRock are fully prepared to deliver innovative solar charging solutions and attractive financing options.

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