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1/3/2022 3:26:23 PM General

KWRD Offers Free Electric Vehicle Charging

DeKalb-area drivers of electric vehicles can charge up fast and free at the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, 1301 Sycamore Road in DeKalb.

Up to six vehicles at a time can charge up at the district’s three dual-port charging stations. The stations are located in the district’s public parking lot, which is open and accessible 24/7. Drivers can charge their vehicles at no cost.

Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District Assistant Manager Mike Holland said drivers could plug in their vehicle before crossing the street to shop at Jewel-Osco or walking a few doors down to eat at Wendy’s.

“We’re a green utility. Providing this service to the public is consistent with our message of being environmental stewards,” Holland said. “If the availability of convenient charging stations helps people make the decision to buy an electric vehicle, we want to do our part to promote that.”
Not long ago, electric vehicles, most of them Teslas, made up only a tiny fraction of new car sales. Over the past two years, demand for passenger cars that run without gasoline has skyrocketed. Mainstream automakers including Ford, Chrysler, and GM have announced plans to release dozens of new electric models over the next five years. By some estimates, electric vehicles could make up as much as half of all new U.S. car sales by the end of the decade.

The water reclamation district generates power from the treatment process and wanted to share that energy with the community, Holland said. The district processes wastewater from homes and businesses in and around the city of DeKalb. Methane gas is a natural byproduct of the treatment. The methane is produced through the breakdown of organic matter, then captured and used to power a gas generator.

The district’s facility generates over 50% of its own power by the treatment process and has committed to being energy independent by 2025.

“As we produce power, it made sense to make that power available for public use,” Holland said. “We keep the Kishwaukee River clean. We keep the environment clean. Powering electric vehicles is just one more way for us to protect the environment.”