By managing federal stimulus money and other funds, MEA helps Maryland families and businesses discover ways to improve energy efficiency by doing things like adopting compact fluorescent light bulbs and replacing old appliances with EnergyStar-rated upgrades. Governor O’Malley’s EmPOWER Maryland goal of a 15% reduction in our state’s energy consumption by 2015 is already making great strides in reducing energy use, while creating green jobs for our workers and helping to keep our State Smart, Green and Growing.
Maryland’s success in becoming a national leader in electric vehicles readiness is made manifest by the announcement that the first privately developed, publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations in a residential community will open in Baltimore’s Midtown community.
The charging stations are part of a new, mixed-use development that is affiliated with the University of Baltimore and on-track to become the largest LEED-certified apartment community in the Baltimore area. This substantial private investment in both electric vehicles and energy efficiency is the result of years of Governor O’Malley’s efforts at moving Maryland forward into the new innovation conomy by promoting clean, renewable energy and cost-saving investments in energy efficiency.
"Our goal in investing in electric vehicles has always been to ‘prime the pump’," said Malcolm Woolf, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. "With today’s announcement, it’s clear that we’ve been successful."
The unveiling ceremony began with brief talks by the President of the Bozzuto Development Company; the President of the University of Baltimore; the CEO of SemaConnect; and the chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. They unveiled the charging stations and demonstrated how to charge a waiting plug-in electric car Prius. They then invited everybody to examine the charging stations and the electric cars, a Prius and a Chevy Volt.
The ChargePro charging stations have a plug that looks a bit like a gas pump and a display light that turns green to indicate that a vehicle is fully charged. They will be available to the public, but EV owners will have to sign up for an account with SemaConnect first. SemaConnect will then supply them with a "smart" card to activate the plug. The charging stations will have software that includes the following features: smart card authentification, online payment, and energy monitoring. Fully charging a car takes anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the model.
Fitzgerald Apartments can add two more stations as demand increases. The Bozzuto Group plans to add charging stations to some of its other apartment properties and make them a standard feature of all of its future developments. The company’s goal is to enable renters to charge electric cars where they live.
The Fitzgerald is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) and is expected to become the largest LEED-certified apartment community in the Baltimore area. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and refers to an internationally recognized green building certification system.)
By José Santamarta, energy.maryland.gov/