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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Community activists have raised a solar pavilion in the small town of Lee Vining that they plan to use for charging electric vehicles (EVs). Dubbed the Pioneer Pavilion, the project is part of an ambitious effort by a local Climate Action Group to make the town on the east side of the Sierra Nevada more "climate friendly."

Lee Vining is the eastern gateway to Yosemite National Park and Toulumne Meadows at the head of the dramatic Tioga Pass Road.

The pavilion in Lee Vining's Hess Park will feed electricity from the solar panels to the nearby Mono County Historical Society building. The pavilion, the Historical Society, and popular tourist attraction of the Upside Down House are all within easy walking distance of the shops and restaurants in Lee Vining.

Led by retired park ranger Janet Carle, the community group plans to eventually offer public WiFi in the pavilion and a J1772 Level 2 charge station at the parking lot.

There are no public non-Tesla EV charging stations on US 395 from Mojave, California to Gardnerville, Nevada a distance of more than 300 miles.

Carle, and other volunteers in the community, have worked the past three years to bring the $80,000 project to life. The effort began, says Carle, when the regional planning commission suggested that the climate activists do something concrete to show the community what can be done. From there, the idea just took off. Carle says the community's endorsement and support of the project is "like a fairy tale." It was the year of people saying "yes" rather than "no."

Don Condon of the Eastern Sierra Chapter of the Electric Vehicle Association characterized the project as an "old-fashioned barn raising" where everyone pitched in with what they could.

That included solar contractor Sierra Solar who donated their time on the project, as did other vendors, including a local mason.

The pavilion uses translucent solar panels that provide a pleasing dappled light beneath the canopy says Carle. While the size of the solar pavilion is small in a state the size of California where many solar projects are gargantuan, completing the project was no small feat in a town of only 400 people.

Sierra Solar installed Lumos architectural solar panels made in San Jose, California. The panels lack a backing so the sun partially shines through. The panels are designed for use in car ports, pavilions, picnic areas, walkways, and EV charging spaces where the see-through panels make a statement about the use of solar energy while also providing shade.

This was an effect that the community group desired. They wanted people to know that they were beneath solar panels and not just roofing material. Carle envisions integrating the solar pavilion with the local schools as an outdoor classroom. The space is designed to hold 80 people.

In a textbook example of community participation, the project gained momentum when organizers solicited locally-made tiles painted by people in the community. The project's FaceBook page shows a busy community hall as residents painted their tiles for use in the pavilion. Also popular was the decision to feature nine pioneer families of the Mono Basin in the pavilion. Story boards describe the families' role in settling the area.

The "stars aligned" says Carle and the pavilion was connected to the grid 18 October 2018.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Let me know when the J1772 gets installed. It would be nice to see a DCFC installed at the Mobil Station.

Closest planned DCFC station is EA and CalTrans in Bishop. It's a toss up who will be first. If Prop 6 passes the CalTrans stations are all off. If it fails, the stations could be installed in 6 mos though it's now going into winter.


Paul
 

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I'm surprised those funds haven't been allocated already.
Yeah, most of them were *supposed* to be finished by Nov 2018. But then there was that challenge of the new sales tax, resulting in 1000s of signatures to repeal it (prop 6), which were turned in a long time ago. Even though the funding was supposed to come from other sources (as approved), it was basically 'put on hold' until the sales tax issue is resolved.

From CalTran's plan :

{{ SRRA == Safety Roadside Rest Areas }}

{{ SHOPP == State Highway Operation and Protection Program }}

Dec 2017 meeting :

The Commission previously amended 10 projects into the SHOPP at the Commission鈥檚 June and August 2017 meetings and allocated funding to begin the Project Approval and Environmental Document phase. Since that meeting, the Department has reevaluate proposed ZEV charging station locations to more effectively fill DCFC service gaps, developed standard plans, details and specifications for fast charger installation to reduce project support costs and provide statewide consistency and continues to meet with GO-Biz and Califonia Energy Commission to confirm standards and priorities are in alignment. The Department intends to install one fast charger at each location. Site designs will allow for future expansion based on demonstrated user demand.



----------------------

Excerpts from "CALTRANS "30-30" ZeroEmission Vehicle Implementation Plan", Nov 2017 :

{...}

One of the first initiatives is the installation of publicly accessible DCFC chargers for electric vehicles within Caltrans right-of-way. The Governor鈥檚 ZEV Action Plan directs Caltrans to begin construction for the installation of DCFCs at a minimum of 30 Department-owned, publicly accessible locations, including highway Safety Roadside Rest Areas (SRRA) and other strategically located Caltrans properties, by December 2018. Caltrans鈥 plan for DCFC installation, is referred to as the 鈥30-30鈥 plan (a minimum of 30 locations installed within 30 months of the Governor鈥檚 ZEV direction). The goal of these installations is to fill gaps within California's DC Fast Charger Corridor Network (see page 15) along key routes of the State Highway System where sufficient commercial ZEV fueling opportunities do not currently exist. Caltrans worked with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Governor鈥檚 Office to use the CEC鈥檚 gap analysis to help identify high priority corridors and sites for public DCFCs. Caltrans is accelerating the delivery of these ZEV charging station projects to comply with infrastructure deployment timelines set by the Governor in EO B-16-12.

{...}

Caltrans will help correct this market dilemma by installing one public electric vehicle (EV) charging station at 37 sites on high priority routes; with gaps in DCFC service of 80 miles or greater; in remote or under-served locations. DCFCs will be installed at 28 SRRAs, 5 Maintenance Stations, 2 District Offices and 2 Park and Ride Lots. All but six locations are in 鈥淒isadvantaged Communities鈥 and/or 鈥淟ow-Income Communities鈥 per Senate Bill 535 and Assembly Bill 1550, as mapped on the California Air Resources Board (ARB) website. Each charger will include two power modules (hoses) and will be designed to allow for future expansion if actual usage indicates a need. Each location requires the use of three existing parking spaces to create two wide spaces for vehicle charging and space for the charger itself.


{...}


Schedule
This 鈥30-30鈥 plan will implement 34 DCFCs for public use by November 2018, with the remaining 3 DCFCs in construction by March 2019.


{...}

Funding for ZEV implementation
Caltrans is working with the California Transportation Commission to use SHOPP funding for the design and installation of 37 DCFC locations, as required to meet goals in the Governor鈥檚 2016 ZEV Action Plan. The California Transportation Commission has programmed 10 projects into the SHOPP that together will construct 37 DCFCs. Funding that arises from grants, private partnerships, and other sources, will be used to leverage funding from the SHOPP, when feasible.
 

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This is great news! 395 has been an electron desert. Great job by the folks in Lee Vining. Applause applause! But it's still only a destination charger. We need more DCFCs out there. And while they're at it, how about at least ONE DCFC in Susanville, Gerlach, and Fort Bragg? There are two places we like to go: Surprise Valley in Modoc County, and Fort Bragg. Between Reno and Surprise Valley, nothing. Between Williams on I5 and Fort Bragg, inclusive, no DCFC. Same for Susanville.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
EA has the station in Bishop up. Their Bridgeport station is iffy. They have yet to activate their Coso Junction station after almost a year. EV Connect has started construction at Inyokern. But I've heard of no action by CP on its station in Mojave (where there is an EA station now) and its station in Brady.

So yeah, it's still bleak for non-Tesla vehicles.

Paul
 

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BtW, our Surprise Valley destination, our cousin's place, has a B&B and a Tesla destination charger. Winjesfarm.com. Great bird watching. Just made it there from Reno by going 60mph tge whole way and not using the cabin heater. 208mi. Not a bloody place to plug in anywhere.
 

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Led by retired park ranger Janet Carle, the community group plans to eventually offer public WiFi in the pavilion and a J1772 Level 2 charge station at the parking lot.
This is all nice and inspiring, but really, what is the utility of a station that can charge one car per day (25 panels?) at 6-8 hours per charge? With Wi-Fi, it sounds like a neat community center, but not like a solution for travelers along the 395 corridor.
 

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This is all nice and inspiring, but really, what is the utility of a station that can charge one car per day (25 panels?) at 6-8 hours per charge? With Wi-Fi, it sounds like a neat community center, but not like a solution for travelers along the 395 corridor.
First, even if it were just for locals, it'd be a nice step. There were 0 public chargers on the east side until December of 2019. Even now, there aren't many.

But even for travelers, if you're stopping in Lee Vining for a meal, or a walk (it's only 1.5 miles to Mono Lake), or even overnight, it's a fine way to add charge. The park is a nice place for a picnic. The nearby museum has some fun history. It's also a nice way to encourage locals with EVs.

Output is not limited by the solar panels. Those are to help recoup overall energy usage.

The station was indispensable to me when visiting eastern Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes last fall. Now with the station in Bridgeport, it's less critical, but it's still helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The people in Lee Vining didn't wait for EA, CP, or EVgo to do somethting they went out and did it themselves. It took them two years but they pioneered EV charging in Mono County. No public money involved. No corporate money. Donations. Not a solution for 395, but part of a charging network that has yet to happen. ;)

Paul
 
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