Electric vehicle charging stations and solar carport

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The City of Leduc will be charged up and able to provide motorists a place to plug in their electric vehicle (EV) as charging stations and a solar carport will be installed at the corner of 49th Street and 49th Avenue later this year.

The project was approved during a City Council meeting on Monday, June 14, and will feature a solar carport, one Level 2 charger and one Level 3 charger. Each charger will be able to charge two electric vehicles at a time.

With few charging stations between Red Deer and Edmonton, the installation is intended to bring people into Leduc’s downtown core, supporting local business and our community’s economic recovery. The solar carport will also reduce the city’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 15 tonnes annually; this is equivalent to planting 200 trees each year.

“We continue to look for ways to boost Leduc’s economy, support sustainable options for residents and visitors, and work toward our greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Leduc Mayor Bob Young. “The installation of the solar carport and electric charging stations right in our downtown is another step forward in this work.”

In total, the carport and chargers will cost roughly $220,000 and will be paid for by the city ($150,000) and grant funding ($70,000). Pending grant approval, installation is expected to take place by October 2021.

The revenue generated from the solar carport is estimated at $10,000 per year and will pay back the city’s portion of the cost in roughly 15 years. The carport will generate more power than what will be used by the car chargers, and will provide motorists an opportunity to charge their vehicles at no cost.

About the Level 2 charger:

  • Compatible with many electric vehicles.
  • Two electric vehicles will be able to be plugged in at the same time.
  • With one vehicle connected, it will take approximately half an hour to get about 50 km of charge.

About the Level 3 charger:

  • Two electric vehicles will be able to be plugged in at the same time.
  • With one vehicle connected, it will take approximately half an hour to fully charge an electric vehicle.
  • Level 3 chargers are considered “super chargers”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the City putting these charging stations in?
Leduc is in the perfect location to become the electric vehicle charging hub between Edmonton and Red Deer—a route on which there are currently no level 3 super chargers. The availability of charging stations is expected to support a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as provide an economic boost for local businesses by bringing more people into downtown.

How will this impact parking downtown?
The system will be installed in a city-owned parking lot and we expect the impact to available parking spaces to be nominal.

Will weather affect the panels or charging capability of the stations?
It’s extremely unlikely that high winds, rain, hail and/or snow will damage the solar panels. The charging stations will also be connected to the grid, so even in the unlikely event that the panels are not generating electricity, they will still be able to provide a charge.

Will the panels generate enough electricity in the winter when there is less daylight?
We know the system will generate less solar energy during the winter months due to fewer hours of sunlight; however, in Alberta, sunlight is consistent and is available for longer hours than many other areas of the country. In the summer months it will produce much more energy due to longer daytime hours.

How many Leduc residents drive electric vehicles?
Based on figures published by the City of Edmonton, we’ve estimated an approximate 15–20 electric vehicles are currently owned by Leduc residents, and expect this number will continue to rise over the next few years as more than half of Albertans have indicated they will choose an electric vehicle on their next purchase.