San Rafael, CA – Through a commitment to climate action planning, the County of Marin has reduced community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 21 percent below 1990 levels. The County’s carbon footprint soon will be improved further by adding 41 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Civic Center campus in San Rafael.
An electric vehicle charging station located on the East end of the Marin Center Exhibit Hall.
Of the 41 new charging stations, 31 will be available for public use. Those new units will be installed in the Civic Center’s Hall of Justice parking lot, bringing the total number of public EV charging stations to 45. The other 10 new charging stations will be installed at the Civic Center’s garage to be utilized by the County vehicle fleet.
The project is a collaborative effort with PG&E under the organization’s EV Charge Network Program. PG&E will provide funding for all the required electrical infrastructure upgrades to the parking lot, including the trenching and running of electrical wiring. Construction is tentatively set to begin on July 30 and is anticipated to take one month to complete. During construction, access to the Hall of Justice parking lot may be hindered for short periods of time. Additional parking is available as usual throughout the campus.
Purchasing and installation of the charging stations, which comes to approximately $185,000, will be covered by the County’s Climate Action Plan fund, as allocated by the Marin County Board of Supervisors in January 2018. To offset the cost, the County has secured a $65,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The County is also pursuing additional grants from the Transportation Authority of Marin and MCE Clean Energy.
The fee for using EV charging stations at the Civic Center is $1 per hour with a four-hour maximum. Non-EVs are not allowed to park at charging stations and will be subject to citation by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. Access to the charging stations is intended to encourage the use of EVs, especially when considering that 53 percent of community GHG emissions and 61 percent of municipal GHG emissions comes from transportation sources.
In addition to the charging stations at the Civic Center, the County offers 10 charging stations for public use at several other locations: the Marin Center Exhibit Hall in San Rafael, the Health and Wellness Center at 3240 Kerner Boulevard, the 20 North San Pedro Road campus, the West Marin Service Center, and the 1600 Los Gamos Drive campus.
The Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) has furthered the County’s sustainability commitment by replacing inefficient gas-powered vehicles in the County fleet with eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. This effort began in 2002 with the purchase of a Toyota Prius, and today the fleet includes 80 hybrid vehicles and eight EVs, with four more EVs expected to join the fleet this summer. The County garage, which has used solar power since 2003, will have a total of 18 charging ports for the County fleet after the 10 new units are installed. The garage also utilizes a portable, solar-powered Envision Solar EV ARC charging station.
Additionally, DPW recently completed several energy-related projects. Two solar panel arrays were installed on County buildings during 2017, one at the Nicasio Corp Yard in West Marin and the other at the Health and Wellness campus in San Rafael. The West Marin Service Center was just rebuilt and features an assortment of sustainability improvements, including solar power and an EV charging station. At the Civic Center, over 2,000 ceiling lights in the administration wing were retrofitted with energy efficient LED panels.
These projects, and others like them, are all part of the larger strategy of the County’s Climate Action Plan, which sets GHG reduction targets greater than those set by the state of California. In its 2006 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, the County set an emissions reduction target of 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The goal was reached by 2012, eight years ahead of schedule. With the adoption of the 2015 Climate Action Plan Update, the County has a goal of reducing community GHG emissions to 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
In 2017, the County switched all municipal electricity accounts to Deep Green 100 percent renewable energy, which allowed the County to exceed its municipal emissions reduction goal. This transition to Deep Green is expected to cut 2,200 tons of GHG annually. Current municipal emissions are estimated to be 19 percent below 1990 levels.