TDEC Lands Solar-Powered EV Chargers for Two Tennessee State Natural Areas
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced two solar-powered, non-grid-tied electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are now available for EV drivers to utilize free-of-charge at Pogue Creek Canyon’s Astronomy Field and the Window Cliffs State Natural Area trailhead.
The EV chargers, donated to TDEC by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), will provide visitors to the State Natural Areas in Fentress and Putnam counties the ability to charge an EV in locations where the existing electric power grid could not support standard chargers. As part of the donation, TVA has also obtained and provided a prepaid maintenance plan for the chargers, minimizing state maintenance obligations for the equipment.
The effort supports the cooperative framework TDEC and TVA established under a 2021 Memorandum of Agreement to promote the development of a statewide EV charging network, the Fast Charge TN Network, that is part of TVA’s broader, multi-state Fast Charge Network. The solar-assisted chargers at two State Natural Area locations will also supplement the network of Level 2 charging stations being installed at all viable Tennessee State Parks as part of a partnership between TDEC and automotive manufacturer Rivian.
“A clean environment will continue to be necessary for future economic success and quality of life in Tennessee, and our ongoing commitment to EV infrastructure is an important part of this equation,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “The stations announced today will provide added value to our natural area visitors while keeping our air clean and our economy thriving.”
“Tennessee’s natural areas are some of the most beautiful in the country, and providing access to EV drivers is the next step as we transform the region’s energy system to support clean transportation,” said Monika Beckner, TVA Commercial Energy Solutions vice president. “Thanks to TDEC’s leadership, Tennessee’s state parks are EV friendly.”