EV Chargers at WNMU Are Available Free to the Public

WNMU and Freeport-McMoRan have installed four EV fast chargers in the parking lot of the Fine Arts Center Theatre on the university campus. The chargers are free to use and available to the public.

© Western New Mexico University

Western New Mexico University and Freeport-McMoRan have taken a significant step towards promoting sustainability and reducing carbon emissions by installing four electric vehicle (EV) chargers on the WNMU campus. Each charger is capable of charging two vehicles at a time. These chargers, which are free to use and available to the public, are intended to support the community in transitioning towards a more environmentally friendly transportation system.

Located in the Fine Arts Center Theatre parking lot, near Ben Altamirano Field and the solar array, the EV units are Livingston Chargeport rapid chargers, offering a charging power of 50 kilowatts, according to Kevin Matthes, Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Operations at WNMU. With a total budgeted cost of $406,731, this project demonstrates the university’s commitment to investing in sustainable infrastructure for the benefit of its students, faculty, staff, and the wider community.

Since the first charging session on May 18, 2024, the EV chargers have been used 92 times, resulting in a total power usage of 1.15 megawatts, said Matthes. To put this into perspective, the approximate cost of this power usage is $190, based on the average cost of 15 cents per kilowatt in New Mexico. Comparatively, the average household in the state consumes one megawatt of power per month.

Matthes emphasized the significance of this initiative, stating, “While the installation of EV chargers does not directly contribute to the university’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral campus, the installation of the EV Chargers by WNMU provides support in moving our community towards carbon neutrality.” This commitment to sustainability aligns with the university’s broader efforts to create a greener and more sustainable campus environment.

By offering free access to EV chargers, WNMU and Freeport-McMoRan aim to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuel-powered transportation. This initiative not only benefits the university community but also contributes to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

Randy Ellison, General Manager of New Mexico Operations at Freeport-McMoRan, said that the company welcomes the opportunity to work together with the university. “Freeport-McMoRan is proud to partner with WNMU to bring these charging stations to Grant County,” he said. “This initiative not only underscores the vital link between decarbonization efforts and our operations at the Chino and Tyrone mines but also emphasizes the pivotal role of copper in advancing renewable energy right here in New Mexico. With a dedicated workforce, many of whom have deep-rooted connections to this region, we’re pleased to contribute $200,000 to install two additional charging stations at WNMU. Our hope is these stations will benefit both residents and visitors for years to come.”

The installation of these EV chargers also reflects the university’s dedication to environmental stewardship and its commitment to being a leader in sustainability within the community. As WNMU continues to prioritize sustainable practices, it seeks to inspire and educate future generations about the importance of renewable energy and the role it plays in mitigating climate change.

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