An East Coast installer and distributor of EV charging equipment called PlugIn Stations Online (PISO) has successfully installed what it calls “one of the world’s first” hydro-powered EV chargers operating off 100% clean energy. The systems show plenty of possibility for a clean future of hydropower EV charging in the US and beyond.
“The revolution is electric.” Those are the first glowing words you see when you visit the website of PlugIn Stations Online (PISO). We won’t disagree. The Valatie, New York-based EV charging specialist has over a decade of experience providing solutions to homes, fleets, and businesses on the East Coast.
It currently has partnerships with several EV charging manufacturers we regularly cover at Electrek, including ChargePoint, ABB, and Shell Recharge. In addition to providing commercial and home charging solutions, PISO is involved in a number of sustainability projects around the state.
Three years ago, PISO President John Doran said that the local Valatie Falls hydropower plant he owns would someday provide the charging power to the company’s fleet of EVs. Today, the company has delivered proof of concept, expanding the potential for more clean and renewable sources of energy to power the growing number of EVs on roads.
Hydropower could offer 100% clean energy to EV charging
According to a release from PlugIn Stations Online, it installed the level 2 charger at its Valatie, NY warehouse on December 29, 2022, a mere 100 feet away from the Valatie Falls Hydropower Plant.
The hydropower plant functions using a seasoned 1951 General Electric generator that produces 160 kW of continuous power. That hydropower generator now powers a first-generation ABB Wall Mount Level 2 charging station, set to 40 amps and charging at a rate of 8 kW. The system equates to approximately 25 miles of range per hour using 100% clean, renewable energy.
John Doran shared that both companies have been working on the project for several years and continue to work in harmony to provide clean energy, like hydropower, and reliable charging solutions to the infrastructural grid in the US. Doran elaborated on today’s progress:
It’s something like a dream come true to see that we’ve successfully connected our ABB Terra AC Wallbox Level II Charger directly to the Hydropower generator. This installation illustrates the feasibility of utilizing clean power and small hydro to transport people.
If scaled, hydropower could serve as a viable EV charging solution in clean energy that can remain viable when other renewable sources like solar and wind are not. PISO points out research that also shows hydropower’s effects extend far beyond energy and EV charging. The company says it has also been shown to reduce poverty and improve public health at the local level. Doran once again spoke:
This is a win across the board for the environment, for the public and for our clients who can feel confident in knowing they are working with a company that follows through and delivers on its promises. We stated three years ago that this plant would charge our fleet of vehicles, and now it’s become reality.