Canastota, N.Y. — The Great Swamp Conservancy (GSC) is taking a giant leap forward in merging green energy and nature conservation in Canastota, having completed the recent installation of 6 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Museum and Events Barn at 8375 N. Main St.
“A greener future is here, and with these 6 new EV charging stations, we are finally able to participate in new ways that will attract new people,” said Brianne Wilcox, GSC’s Conservation Educator. “We invite all EV owners to stop by and charge your vehicles. You can charge up, step out of your car to get a breath of fresh air, and walk the miles of unique trails or enjoy one of the many other great things we have to offer.”
Michael Patane, the GSC’s president and founder said, “Get charged up in more than one way while visiting the Great Swamp Conservancy.”
The GSC has been a part of the CNY community for 24 years and is reported to be Madison County’s only nature center. The location encompasses many acres of restored wetlands, grasslands, early successional habitat, and hardwood forests. These diverse varieties of habitats have entitled the properties to be designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society and as a Watchable Wildlife site by state, federal, and international agencies, officials say.
GSC reports that electric vehicle charging stations are becoming more prevalent in communities across Central New York thanks to the roll-out of new incentive programs through National Grid’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Make-Ready Program and the Charge Ready NY Program. These programs are administered by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
“To support our customers, communities, and businesses in both the private and the public sectors reduce the impact of carbon, National Grid is helping make electric vehicles and the charging stations that power them more accessible. And the Great Swamp Conservancy is helping make this a reality in Madison County,” said Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid’s CNY Regional Director. “Through the company’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Make-Ready Program, we’re promoting the installation of public and workplace charging in communities, businesses, schools, and public transportation to provide a network of EV charging that increases EV adoption to meet our state’s clean energy goals.”
In addition to project funding, National Grid provided a pole, meter, and upgraded electricity service, ensuring a good future for the GSC’s electrical system, officials say.
Charge Ready NY was launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018 and provides $4,000 per vehicle charging port for public or private employers, building owners, municipalities, and non-profit organizations to install Level 2 charging stations with an additional $500 per port available in disadvantaged communities. NYSERDA is providing $17 million for this initiative for a total of 4,250 new charging ports throughout the state, according to a GSC press release.
Officials say this effort complements New York State’s national-leading climate and clean energy goals as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to lower greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.
Charge Ready NY works together with other programs, such as the “Make-Ready” Program, to amplify the number of charging ports statewide to 50,000 and meet New York’s goal of deploying 850,000 zero-emission vehicles by the end of 2025, officials say.
GSC officials say moving into the green energy world makes sense for the organization. Some of the GSC’s driving goals include: habitat conservation, preservation of endangered species, wetland conservation and enhancement, water pollution abatement, environmental education and outreach, as well as fostering a greater understanding of local history.
The Green Team, a local commercial LED lighting & EVSE turn-key operation, is also helping the GSC become even greener, officials say.
The GSC is located 3 miles from the I-90 corridor, Canastota, Exit 34, just about halfway between Syracuse and Utica.
For more information about the Charge Ready NY program and to inquire about applying, please contact ChargeReadyNY@energycenter.org or 866-595-7917.