Boston – City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts environmental officials yesterday joined Boston developer Madison Properties and Eversource Energy executives to celebrate the opening of a new “green” parking facility on Congress Street in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood.
Electric vehicles of all makes can park by the hour or the day while recharging their batteries at the newly opened lot at 363 Congress St. in South Boston, also the longtime site of an Eversource Energy substation.
Madison Properties, a Massachusetts-based real estate development company, and Eversource Energy collaborated to create the electric-vehicle charging station and parking facility, with Madison leasing and improving about two thirds of the 7,000-square-foot lot for 13 vehicles, including charging stations that will accommodate seven at a time.
“While this is a small parcel of land, it’s a big statement of Eversource’s commitment to green energy and also responsive to a neighborhood that wanted to see a more productive use of a piece of underutilized land,” said Denis Dowdle, President of Madison Properties.
Jim Hunt, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Communications Officer at Eversource, said, “As we work to lead the country into a cleaner energy future, adding more spaces for electric vehicles in the heart of Boston’s Innovation District is a natural next step. We’re proud to partner with Madison Properties to make this exciting initiative a reality.”
Ned Bartlett, Massachusetts Undersecretary of Energy and environmental Affairs, described the Commonwealth’s environmental goals and joined in a ribbon cutting, as three electric vehicles were parked in the angle spaces and about two dozen people looked on.
Patrons of the new lot will pay an hourly rate for parking, with a maximum of $29 a day, and charge their cars on a pay-as-needed basis, charged by the kilowatt hour. That rate fluctuates but is currently about 20 cents/kWh.
“This is increasingly important in the arena of electric vehicles and electric vehicle adoption,” said Austin Blackmon, City of Boston Chief of Environment and Energy. “In the past few years not only has the state and the federal government provided very generous incentives, but frankly this work is becoming even more important particularly here in Massachusetts.”
“In Massachusetts, transportation is the largest contributor to our greenhouse gas emissions, and a major contributor to that is vehicle miles traveled, which have proven very, very difficult to reduce,” Blackmon said, “making it all the more important that we find cleaner ways to transport ourselves from where we live to where we work.”
The green goals behind development of the lot are in keeping with the neighborhood, South Boston’s Seaport District, known as the Innovation District because of its cutting-edge business tenants and environmentally aware workforce.
Across from the Marriott Residence Inn, the lot is rectangular, about 90 feet by 78 feet, on the south side of the street between two historic Boston Wharf Co. commercial buildings.
Vehicles may be rotated out of the charging spaces as they become fully charged, and power is configured to the lot so that as demand grows more of the six standard parking slots can be equipped with chargers.
The EV parking location has been paved with porous asphalt, which returns rainwater to the ground. The lot has been beautified with period lighting fixtures, safety bollards, and decorative fencing. The substation portion of the lot is separated by a fence from the angled parking spaces. Cars enter from Congress Street and exit onto the alley behind the Congress Street buildings on the south side of Congress, turning onto either Boston Wharf Road or A Street.