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Davis installs PairTree microgrid, solar EV charger station downtown

By Mark Andersen

Davis has a new, and free, electric vehicle charger station in its downtown with the installation of an off-grid PairTree charger.

The charger station is in a parking lot at 616 First St. It was fully funded by the city of Davis’ share of Electrify Yolo grant funding.

“This location is ideal because it is right off Interstate 80 and in the heart of downtown,” said Davis Mayor Josh Chapman, in a news release. “We encourage anyone using the chargers to explore our downtown and all it has to offer.”

And they will have some time. The PairTree station is a Level 2 charger, which adds about 30 miles of range for every hour of charge.

One of the benefits of the PairTree is that it’s fully contained and doesn’t need access to utilities. With the battery system, it can charge day and night.

Campbell-based Paired Power makes a variety of charging systems, including the PairTree, which is a set of bi-facial solar panels mounted on a sturdy frame and connected to an EV battery/charger system that can charge two cars at the same time at Level 2 charging rates.

Under Electrify Yolo, the city partnered with Yolo County utility Valley Clean Energy to get a grant for the chargers from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

The PairTree microgrid and solar EV charger is the first installed in the city. Davis plans to add another charger microgrid unit later this year at Playfields Park at 2500 Research Park Drive on the other side of Interstate 80.

“It’s an honor to be selected to provide the first public solar, microgrid charger for the city of Davis delivering renewable energy for EV charging,” said Paired Power CEO Tom McCalmont, in a news release. “Our engineers designed PairTree to provide resilient charging that is fully solar powered and delivers EV charging regardless of grid availability.”

Davis opted to open these chargers to EV drivers at no cost initially, which also means that the city will collect no personal information from drivers since they are not paying. The downtown parking lot where the station is located has a two-hour time limit, and that will continue to be enforced. The PairTree microgrid units are somewhat portable, so the city can move them relatively easily if the locations don’t work out well. The city also has public chargers at Davis City Hall, but those are hard-wired units and not these microgrids.

Source: Sacramento Business Journal