NEWPORT, Wash. – The Pend Oreille Public Utility District has added another service for residents in Pend Oreille County. Now Washingtonians visiting the PUD’s Newport Administration Building can charge their electric cars for free at one of two SemaConnect EV charging stations.

The SemaConnect Series 6 charging stations installed at Pend Oreille PUD’s Newport office are mounted on a dual pedestal and are compatible with all plug-in electric cars in North America. With a durable aluminum enclosure, interactive LED lights, and smart network capabilities, the new weatherproof stations support electrification in rural Washington. With SemaConnect’s open network, drivers can view live station status on the SemaConnect and PlugShare mobile apps or get directions using Google Maps. An EV charging network membership is not required to charge; EV drivers can simply plug in to start charging.

Pend Oreille PUD's Colin Willenbrock and the Greater Newport Area Chamber of Commerce's Jason Totland with SemaConnect EV charging stations

Colin Willenbrock, General Manager at Pend Oreille PUD, and Jason Totland, President of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, officially launched the new EV charging stations at a grand opening event on October 19, 2020.

Electricity at the charging stations will be paid by the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce for the year-long pilot program. SemaConnect will monitor the stations and provide customer support to drivers. To monitor and evaluate the pilot program, Pend Oreille PUD can download reports from SemaConnect on station usage, energy consumption, and carbon offset.

“Electric vehicles are growing in Washington, and we’ve been looking for new ways to support our community in 2020,” said Amber Gifford, communications, contracts, and conservation manager at Pend Oreille County PUD Number 1. “Our new SemaConnect charging stations are the latest in our community improvements, and we’re excited to put Newport on the map. This week is the official launch of Pend Oreille PUD’s new EV charging program! We invite all community members to check out our stations next time you visit the Newport office.”

“Electric cars first came to Seattle, and now they’re driving to Eastern Washington,” said Eric Smith, sales manager at SemaConnect. “Public charging stations are essential for statewide and national adoption. EV drivers need a place to charge when exploring their states or traveling for the holidays, and now Newport, Washington will be an essential stop along the way. Pend Oreille PUD is setting an example for other rural communities and utilities that are looking for ways to attract visitors, serve their communities, and reduce carbon emissions. We’re honored to be Pend Oreille PUD’s choice for EV charging in 2020.”

Pend Oreille PUD’s new SemaConnect charging stations are now open for free charging at the Newport Administration Building. Live station status is available on the SemaConnect and PlugShare mobile applications.

About Pend Oreille County Public Utility District:
Pend Oreille PUD was established in 1936 and began operations in 1948. The PUD is governed by three locally elected Commissioners. A General Manager and staff operate the utility within policies set by the Board of Commissioners. The PUD has four operating systems: The electric system distributes electricity to the county, the production system produces power from the Box Canyon Hydroelectric Project, the water system consists of nine individual water distribution subdivisions, and the community network system provides wholesale broadband communication services. For more information, visit: http://popud.org.