PORT ANGELES — Drivers of electric cars could be able to charge them while visiting the Clallam County courthouse beginning this summer, thanks to a $68,000 state Department of Commerce grant.
“This project was a long time in the making,” said County Commissioner Mark Ozias at a work session.
“You hit it right on the head. This is a project we’ve been working on since my predecessor started it. So I want to request a call for bids,” said Don Crawford, the county’s director of parks, fair and facilities.
They have not developed a policy regarding whether they will be for employees only or open the public, Crawford said.
There will be a cost for using the stations, but that hasn’t been decided yet, he said.
Crawford said they would like them done by mid-summer. The bid opening is set for 10 a.m. April 18 and the contractor will have 120 days from the bid award to finish.
The two Level 2 stations would be located along Fourth Street where traffic pulls in. A Level 2 EV charging station uses a 208-240-volt power source and a dedicated circuit — potentially up to 60 amps.
A Level 1 will deliver around 1.2 kW to the vehicle, while a Level 2 charger ranges from 6.2 to 19.2 kW, with most chargers around 7.6 kW.
“The other really good part about this is, once we have the infrastructure built, it won’t be a gigantic leap to add more stations in that same place. There’s a lot of upfront costs that we are covering now,” Crawford said.
“Once that is all done, if we see there’s a need in the public, in addition to what we have internally, we can go ahead and add more charging stations and then you could allocate them.
“And the way the system works, it’s not going to take eight hours to charge a vehicle. So for internal use, we might use an honor system,” he said.
The state Department of Commerce reimbursement grant is for $67,890 and requires a $13,578 match from the county.
The project was approved by the commissioners in the 2023 Real Estate Excise Tax project fund. REET funds will be used to cover the county’s match, Crawford told the commissioners.
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.