North Coast Electric, Seattle, recently installed a solar-powered electric car charging station at its corporate office in South Seattle, Wash. The ribbon cutting ceremony was on Aug. 31. The station's canopy, manufactured by EV4, is not only designed to charge cars using power from the sun, but also acts as an Energy Transfer Merchant (ETM), storing power using batteries. The system then makes the power available to the local public utility, Seattle City Light, by utilizing a smart grid module manufactured by GridMobility, a Kirkland Wash.-based company. The EV4 canopy combined with GridMobility technology will allow North Coast Electric and its customers to charge their cars by using renewable energy.

“We take our commitment to the environment seriously,” says Mike Miller, president of North Coast Electric. “We're bringing new technologies to the market, be it electric vehicle charging, solar and wind renewable systems, or our vast array of lighting products designed to save substantial energy. Giving customers the ability to combine power generation with vehicle charging while being connected to the smart grid of Seattle is exciting.”

McKinstry, a nationally recognized energy-services company headquartered in Seattle, performed the installation in record time. “I was surprised how fast McKinstry was able to install our solar canopy and charging system, start to finish. They did a great job working around all of our customer activity,” said Mark Greene, North Coast Electric's director of business development.