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Sarasota Charging Station Program

Florida Power & Light selects Harrimans Inc. - solar and electrical contractors, to install six electric car-charging stations within city of Sarasota limits by the end of the year.

The charging stations, which will be free to the public, will be installed in the following locations:
• Two pedestal-mounted charging stations at Bayfront Park Marina
• One wall-mounted charging station in the City Hall parking lot
• Two pedestal-mounted charging stations for the St. Armands Circle south parking lot
• One wall-mounted charging station on the second floor of the Whole Foods parking garage

The city has already installed four charging stations in the Palm Avenue parking garage, which will give the city ten charging stations by the end of the year.

St. Armands Circle Business Improvement District Chairman Marty Rappaport made the announcement at a BID meeting earlier this month. He said FPL’s announcement was a smart business decision.

“It makes sense to install stations for free public use until the electric-car market really begins to take off,” Rappaport said.

FPL Senior Media Relations Specialist Marie Bertot told the Sarasota Observer the charging stations are being installed through a partnership with the city.

“We are partnering with the city on several pilot projects, including electric charging stations,” said Bertot, who explained the charging stations are part of a Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Sustainability Agreement with the city.

“FPL’s primary role is to serve as a resource for information on electric charging stations for our customers, government agencies and others who are interested in installing public charging stations. In this role, we can advise on topics such as permitting, inspections and the locations of the charging stations.”

Bertot said the exact cost of the six charging stations is not available at this time, but the project is funded through shareholder dollars, not through customer rates.

“Like most utilities, FPL has decided not to sell, lease or maintain public charging stations,” she said. City Environmental Specialist Alison Albee called the electric-car charging stations “another plus for the city of Sarasota.”

Although the four charging stations installed in the Palm Avenue parking garage cannot be monitored for use, Albee suspects they aren’t being used often.

“It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing more and more electric hybrid vehicles that will be able to take advantage of the charging stations coming online,” Albee said.