Kit Carson To Add Nine EV Charging Stations Along The Enchanted Circle
Taos-based Kit Carson Electric Cooperative announced on Tuesday that it will be adding nine additional electric vehicle charging stations in towns along the 84-mile span of highways known as the Enchanted Circle.
“We are creating a clean environment for our communities to preserve the natural beauty of northern New Mexico. Creating a carbon-free climate will raise the standard for a better quality of life for our younger generations,” Kit Carson CEO Luis Reyes said in a prepared statement. “We are investing in their future.”
Reyes told Albuquerque Business First the project is expected to be completed by mid-August and that the charging stations will be installed by Dixon-based Sol Luna Solar.
The creation of new electric vehicle charging infrastructure is partially funded by a $200,119 grant the utility received last May from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Kit Carson’s plans to add more electric vehicle charging stations will give the utility 19 in total, with 28 charging points.
Originally, Kit Carson had requested nearly $700,000 for five DC fast chargers and 11 level two slow chargersfrom NMED. But since Kit Carson didn’t get the full funding it requested, the utility opted for nine charging stations instead, and Reyes told Business First the estimated cost of the project to be $400,000. Two of those nine electric vehicle stations will be fast charging stations, KCEC spokesman Michael Santistevan said.
The other half of the funding, Reyes said, will come from Kit Carson — who is getting a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.
NMED had received $4.6 million from the Volkswagen Settlement Fund last year to help develop 43 projects across the state dealing with “electric vehicles, alternate-fueled vehicles, and light-duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment,” according to its website.
The fund came to be after the U.S. government and Volkswagen resolved allegations that the car manufacturer violated the Clean Air Act by selling 59,000 vehicles that were “equipped with defeat devices.”Volkswagen, in turn, set up a fund of nearly $3 billion, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Reyes said the project was a collaborative effort between municipalities, tribal and county governments, among others.
So far, Kit Carson has identified nine spots for the charging stations, Reyes said.
One in the Town of Taos
One in the Village of Eagle Nest
One in the Village of Red River
Two in Peñasco
One in Picuris Pueblo
One at Northern New Mexico college’s El Rito campus
Two in Questa
The news comes on the heels of Kit Carson securing financing for two large-scale projects in Angel Fire and in the Taos Mesa. The projects, which cost $55 million, will combine for more than 21 megawatts of solar capacity and 15 megawatts of solar storage.
Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year, Reyes previously told Business First. Those projects will also help Kit Carson reach 100% daytime solar nine months before its goal.
Reyes had also told Business First in late April — and confirmed again this week — that Kit Carson has been looking at possibly switching its fleet of vehicles to electric.
He added that Kit Carson, with its scaling up of electric and solar, is looking to secure funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to “start a program where we can get low- and-moderate income folks driving electric vehicles.”