By: Geroge Parrott
Electric-car maker Tesla Motors has rapidly been opening Supercharger DC fast-charging stations throughout the U.S. and outside the country.
But despite its goal of providing solar-generated electricity at those sites, Superchargers thus far have drawn on electricity from the conventional power grid.
That’s about to change.
In Rocklin, California (20 miles northeast of downtown Sacramento), Tesla is building its first location that will incorporate every one of its customer offerings in a single location.
There’s a Tesla showroom where new cars are displayed, a Service Center, and a row of Supercharger fast-charging stalls–with a massive array of photovoltaic solar cells to power the entire site.
Only about 4 miles from the Rocklin location is another Supercharger site, at the Roseville Galleria Mall.
But freeway access there is neither immediate nor direct, so Tesla appears to have added the eight additional Supercharger stalls just a minute or so off the Interstate 80 exchange at the Sierra College exit.
To do the work, Tesla chose a local company–Phil Haupt Electric of Roseville–with previous experience in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) installation and maintenance.
“I was very flattered to have our company selected to do this installation,” commented owner Phil Haupt, “and we used all local employees and even purchased all of our materials locally.”
Many of Tesla’s Supercharger installations are done by companies operating on a wider regional or near-national basis, with contracts to create one fast-charging site after another, even across state lines.
Tesla has consistently indicated that it would further power to its specialized Superchargers via solar panels, but the Rocklin location takes the company’s “green energy” commitment further.
The whole roof of the service and showroom area and almost every possible area in the whole perimeter of the property has been fully fitted with solar photovoltaic panels.
The panels, of course, have the added benefit that they shade the actual Supercharger stations from the hot Central Valley summer sun.