Project Site Overview
The Hilton Garden Inn Rockford is a modern and stylish hotel located in Rockford, Illinois, just a short distance from popular attractions like the Anderson Japanese Gardens, BMO Harris Bank Center, and Rock Cut State Park. The hotel features 135 guest rooms and suites, and over 2,600 square feet of flexible meeting space, ideal for conferences, meetings, and social events.
Hotel management wanted to create a competitive advantage in their local market by providing Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging stations for guests traveling from large metropolitan areas such as Chicago, IL (87 miles), Madison, WI (72 miles), and Milwaukee (90 miles). The Hotel was interested in adding four (4) Level 2 Networked EV chargers to the property so that drivers can easily locate these stations on popular apps like PlugShare and Google Maps. Networked chargers also allow the Hotel to offer EV charging for free or require drivers to pay a nominal fee for energy.
The investment in equipment, permitting, installation and network fees cost the hotel slightly under $27,000. The major cost driver for this property was the distance between the power source and the location of the charging stations (70 ft). Boring underground long distances, trenching asphalt, and moving concrete are major cost centers for any EV charging project.
The Hotel charges EV drivers for use of these units at a rate of $.35 kWh. These units are open to the public and can be used by adjacent hotels. The EV charging units at this hotel are projected to use 100kWh-160kWh of power each day 300 days a year and generate $10,500-$16,800 in gross revenue annually.
The major obstacles for this project were weather, power capacity, cost of installation, signage and permitting. Installation of EV charging stations in the mid-west and east coast during the coldest part of the year is very difficult. Limited power capacity prevented the hotel from adding higher power charging units. The standard cost range of a four unit, pedestal mounted EV charging installation in this region should be between $18,000-$35,000 depending on factors like distance to power, groundwork complexity, ADA compliance, and fluctuating labor costs. Creating signage that attracts EV drivers and also limits their time on the charger was a high priority for the Hotel. The permitting and approval process was lengthy and required specific engineering drawings that can take time to produce.
EV charging stations were installed between November and early December prior to the onset of extremely cold weather. The hotel elected to use four EVP700G Level 2 charging units to maximize the available power and create multiple charging zones. The hotel contained costs by
working with TurnOnGreen turn-key EV charging services which provided, equipment, network services, permitting, engineering and installation services. The hotel intends to add signage that limits EV charging time to four hours so that other EV drivers will have an opportunity to charge. Overnight charging will be allowed.
This project was initiated in September of 2022, when the TurnOnGreen installation team surveyed the site to make recommendations regarding the quantity, power output, and location of the EV chargers. Estimating total costs, provisioning units, electrical engineering plans and permitting applications occurred in October. Installation commenced in November, with some rain delays, the installation was completed in mid-December. Final inspection and activation occurred in January of 2023.
Once the final inspection was completed and units activated, the TurnOnGreen implementation team spent two days in January 2023, testing the machines and trouble-shooting any possible issues, and training staff on how to use the chargers and the online charger management system. Charging rates were set remotely using the custom network dashboard, and the location of the chargers added to various online databases so drivers can find the hotel and the EV chargers easily. The hotel also updated their website to reflect that they offer EV chargers.
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