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    MeetingGRF says no to SCE proposal for electric car charging stations in Village

    January 12, 2023 - Laguna Woods Globe


      The Golden Rain Foundation board of directors agreed to cancel a Southern California Edison proposal for electric vehicle charging stations in the Village at their meeting Jan. 3.

      The directors moved on a recommendation by the GRF Maintenance and Construction Committee to cancel the proposal, dubbed Charge Ready 2, at a special open meeting Dec. 12 at Clubhouse 5.

      Bart Mejia, assistant director of Maintenance and Construction for Village Management Services, first outlined the proposal at the board meeting.

      In essence, the SCE proposal called for the Village to enter into a 10-year commitment in which the power company would supply and install Level 2 slow-charge stations at three recommended sites — clubhouses 3, 4 and 5 — with a minimum of 10

      ports per location taking up 11-12 parking spots at each site. The cost to GRF, even with partial funding by SCE for installation plus infrastructure work, would be $150,000 per site for purchase of the equipment, operation and maintenance for 10 years.

      The M&C Committee deemed the proposal “unfeasible,” Mejia said. For one, use of the parking spots for EV charging stations “will prevent any future expansion of clubhouses that will require additional parking.”

      “Once assigned to the charging stations, [the parking spots] cannot be used for any other purpose,” Mejia added.

      Mejia also provided information on use of the seven charging stations behind the Village Community Center. In 2022, Village residents used the charging stations 1,679 times, and nonresidents used them 3,904 times.

      GRF Director Juanita Skillman was the first to voice her opposition to the SCE Charge Ready 2 proposal at the board meeting.

      It “boxes us in for 10 years at Level 2s, and to me that’s just unreasonable, with technology changing as much as it is,” she said. “We need to have at least Level 3 chargers.”

      Director Debbie Dotson agreed that the Level 2 chargers were not sufficient and that the 10-year commitment was not beneficial, saying the Village needs to hold out for “more advantageous programs” coming in the next year or so.

      Director Reza Karimi emphasized that the board’s opposition is to SCE’s Charge Ready 2 program, not to EV charging in the Village.

      “We are going to be facing the EV issue regardless,” he said, but not with a 10-year commitment to technology that likely will be obsolete in a short time, he added.

      Skillman and Dotson agreed that the board’s opposition is solely to SCE’s proposal.

      “We are not saying no to EV charging; we are saying no to an SCE charge proposal,” Skillman said. “I think we need to be more aware of our needs, continue to study this, to look at what’s happening in the future.”

      Dotson added, “We’re not opposed to EV chargers; we’re opposed to this particular proposal.”

      And so, the GRF directors chose to cancel all remaining applications for EV charging stations at clubhouses 3, 4 and 5 under Charge Ready 2.


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