New Melones gets bureau’s first electric vehicle charging stations

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

Campgrounds and recreation areas at New Melones Reservoir are set to reopen Tuesday and will feature the first electric-vehicle charging stations at any of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's more than 600 facilities across 17 Western states.

Two separate plug-in stations for electric vehicles were installed in June at the Glory Hole Recreation Area's Ironhorse Campground and Tuttletown Recreation Area's Lupine Day Use Area. Although available to the public at that time, they were not publicized by the bureau and received little use.

They became inaccessible to the public after the Bureau of Reclamation closed a number of facilities at the reservoir on Oct. 1 for routine maintenance conducted each year.

There is no cost to use the chargers after payment of the entry fee into the recreation areas.

Other campgrounds and facilities due to reopen for public use on April 1 include the Acorn, Chamise and Oak Knoll campgrounds at the Tuttletown Recreation Area, as well as the Osprey Point Day Use Area at the Glory Hole Recreation Area.

The two charging stations at New Melones are some of the only ones that exist in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. Only two other charging stations available to the public are located at businesses in Groveland and Twain Harte, according PlugShare.com, a free website that maps stations across the U.S. for electric-vehicle owners.

The stations at New Melones Reservoir were purchased and installed using money from the "Reconnect California Grant Program," which is funded by the California Energy Commission and Auburn-based charging station manufacturer ClipperCreek, according to an announcement Thursday from the federal agency's regional office in Sacramento.

For the complete story, see the March 28, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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