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Maryland's First Solar Tracking Electric Vehicle Charger Opens In Bethesda

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Montgomery County is now home to the state's first solar tracking electric vehicle charger. State officials and alternative energy advocates gathered in Bethesda this morning to show off the latest advancement in Maryland's march toward clean renewable energy.

"This electric vehicle charging station, powered by the sun, is helping us to create jobs and power our way into a better more balanced, more directed and more connected future," says Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-Md.).

It's called the Solar Power Pole. Standing 18 feet high with a six-panel solar array mounted on top, the charging station draws enough energy from the sun to refuel two electric vehicles simultaneously.

What makes this charging station different from most is its solar tracking technology, which enables the panel to rotate with the movement of the sun to maximize the energy captured.

"We get an additional 30 to 50 percent more power over a flat mounted collector, and that's important when you’re trying to do the most with minimal space," says Rob Lundahl, vice president of Advance Technology and Research, the Maryland based company, which developed the charger.

Real estate developer Trip Aubinoe says he installed the unit after some encouragement from his teenaged kids.

"They told me, 'Dad every person makes a difference, and if one person does something then others will follow, and it will make a big difference,'" says Aubinoe.

The charger is located in the 10400 block of Old Georgetown Road.

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