Highline Electric Association adds potential game changer to the EV charging world
- Successful installation and deployment of the FreeWire® Boost™ Charger 150 near Julesburg, Colo., could open up EV charging opportunities to more rural areas.
- Effort funded through HEA, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and the Colorado Energy Office.
(August 30, 2022 – Westminster, Colo.) – One of the major impediments to the development of a rural electric (EV) charging network is the nature of local power systems needed to keep charging times meaningful for consumers. That is why the recent installation of a new charging station by Holyoke, Colo.-based Highline Electric Association (HEA), with financial support from Tri-State, may very well be a game changer for rural areas across the West.
To allow for commercial charging of EVs in a timely manner, most charging equipment requires a “three-phase” distribution system, or three conductors, to meet the power requirement of a Direct-Current, Fast-Charger (DCFC). Unfortunately, with many rural electric systems, three-phase conductors are not as readily available or are not in optimal locations, which limits where rural utilities can place DCFC stations without costly three-phase line extensions.
This is where HEA and Newark, Calif.-based FreeWire Technologies hope to change the nature of the game and help alleviate range anxiety for consumers, through the use of existing rural distribution systems and the battery-integrated technology found in the FreeWire® Boost™ Charger 150.
“The FreeWire direct-current, fast charger is one of the first of its kind in Colorado in that it can use existing single-phase conductors, in combination with battery storage technology, to charge vehicles comparable to charging times for systems currently available in the market today,” said Dennis Herman, general manager for Highline Electric Association. “This represents a breakthrough in efforts to offer reasonable charging times with the distribution systems we have available in rural areas.”
“FreeWire is thrilled to play a leading role in HEA’s electrification plans,” said Daniel Zotos, FreeWire’s director of communications. “Our charging solutions require minimal electrical infrastructure investment, significantly reducing permitting and installation times. As charging demand continues to surge, we are seeing our ultrafast, battery integrated chargers offer the streamlined, shovel-ready solution that many entering the EV charging space are looking for.”
“As part of our Responsible Energy Plan, Tri-State is supporting rural electric vehicle infrastructure solutions to advance our members’ and Tri-State's electrification goals,” said Reg Rudolph, Chief Energy Innovations Officer for Tri-State.
The FreeWire charger uses up to a 27-kilowatt (kW) source of electricity, from a single-phase conductor, to charge the 160 kilowatt-hour battery. With an EV charging capacity of 150 kW, EV drivers can generally reach an 80% state of charge within 30-45 minutes, depending on battery size. Battery-integrated, DCFC technology opens up opportunities for more charging stations in rural areas of the state, where charging times would otherwise be much longer.
In addition to the lower power input required, use of battery-integrated storage technology facilitates DC to DC charging and the unique ability to charge two cars at once from a single source, yet potentially another time saver for consumers.
HEA and FreeWire have set up this charging technology at the Wagon Wheel Conoco, just off the heavily traveled U.S. Interstate 76 near Julesburg, Colo. The charging station is strategically located 180 miles from Denver, and 30 miles from the next nearest charging station. HEA hopes to collect data on the charging station and expand its use to other locations in the rural electric cooperative’s service territory.
For more information on the DC fast charger and a video/b-roll, click here.
The FreeWire fast charger has been funded through the efforts of HEA, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and the Colorado Energy Office.
About Highline Electric Association
As a local member-owned electric cooperative, Highline Electric Association was founded on the concept of providing the best, most reliable service at a reasonable price. A lot has changed over the past 84 years, but HEA’s commitment to providing service to its members and the communities it calls home remain the same. It is one part of our commitment to community.
Founded in 2014, FreeWire Technologies is the leading manufacture
Tri-State is a wholesale power supply cooperative, operating on a not-for-profit basis, with 45 members, including 42 utility electric distribution cooperative and public power district members in four states that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State, visit www.tristate.coop.
Certain information contained in this press statement are forward-looking statements including statements concerning Tri-State’s plans, future events, and other information that is not historical information. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described from time to time in Tri-State’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tri-State’s expectations and beliefs are expressed in good faith, and Tri-State believes there is a reasonable basis for them. However, Tri-State cannot assure you that management’s expectations and beliefs will be achieved. There are a number of risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein.