Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Saint Paul is one of the first cities in the nation to offer this type of station, solidifying its status as a leader in sustainable energy

Today, Mayor Chris Coleman, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Xcel Energy, Commissioner Paul Aasen and other local officials unveiled two new solar-powered electric car charging stations in Saint Paul’s Como Regional Park.

Located at Como Lake and McMurray Fields, they are the first of their kind in Minnesota. Powered by the sun, they generate no air pollution. These particular charging stations have the capacity to charge two vehicles at a time.

“Having these charging stations located in a regional destination like Como Park is a good fit for the demand we've seen from our environmentally-conscious users,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “The electric car industry is growing, and Saint Paul is ready. We are paving the way for a sustainable future, and will continue to lay the infrastructure for electric vehicles across the metro.”

City officials also introduced three new electric vehicles to its fleet at the event; two Chevy Volts and a Ford Transit Connect.

Saint Paul has made great strides in utilizing sustainable energy. With four electric vehicles in its fleet, electric charging stations in many downtown ramps, solar panels on the roofs of government buildings and more, the city has become a national leader in clean energy.

“The leadership of Saint Paul and our clean energy partners here today demonstrates that we understand that energy efficiency isn't just a competitive advantage, it's a competitive necessity in our global economy. I believe the federal government can and should partner with cities, states and organizations to deliver clean energy initiatives like this,” Congresswoman Betty McCollum said.

“Xcel Energy is pleased to partner with the City of Saint Paul to give customers another clean energy choice,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “Today, customers can not only plug in their EVs, but they can plug into a clean solar resource. That’s an exciting first and an exceptional fit with this premiere park environment.”

“We've worked hard to be on the forefront of a number of sustainable innovations throughout our parks and recreation system, and these stations will only help further those efforts,” Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hahm said.

The charging stations, open today, will charge $1 per hour.

The solar charging stations, paid for in part from a $2.8 million federal stimulus grant through the U.S. Department of Energy, cost $35,000 per unit and are eligible for a total rebate of $8,910 from the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards program. The electric vehicles were paid for through stimulus dollars, Xcel Energy and the City of Saint Paul. Overall, stimulus dollars paid for about 60 percent and Xcel Energy and the City of Saint Paul each paid about 20 percent of the total cost for solar installations, charging stations and four electric vehicles.

The city is working with Drive Electric Minnesota, a partnership of local and state government, Xcel Energy, businesses and nonprofit entities working in collaboration to bring electric vehicles and plug-in charging infrastructure to Minnesota.

For more information on electric vehicles and the charging stations, visit