Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 240: Maryland's First Solar Power Pole

Solar Pole in Bethesda

I was getting gas recently at the Exxon Station near the Wildwood Shopping Center this month when I noticed something peculiar that I had not seen before.  The strange device looked like a gas pump that was powered by solar panels.  Turns out I was looking at Maryland’s first “Sun-Tracking Electric Vehicle Charger”- the Solar Pole.  I’m a techie at heart and this thing is cool.

Governor Martin O’Malley and County Executive Isiah Leggett were on hand August 8th to unveil the Solar Power Pole, Maryland’s first high-efficiency, sun-tracking electric vehicle (EV) solar charging station.  Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR), based in Columbia, Maryland developed the device that tracks the sun as the earth rotates to capture clean solar power.  The solar power is converted into electric power and then stored in the utility grid.

Standing at 18′ tall the Solar Pole has six solar panels on top of the pole and features a very small footprint designed for urban environments.  The Solar Pole can charge two electric vehicles at a time and an hour’s charge on the Solar Pole will translate into about 20 miles of vehicle driving.

A local commercial real estate owner, “Tripp” Aubinoe, installed the Solar Pole in the parking lot of his medical office building at 10401 Old Georgetown Road to provide service to his tenants and their customers.  He said that he installed the device in anticipation of a “flood of electric cars” to soon enter the market.  Last July ATR was awarded an $1.1 million dollar grant from the Maryland Energy Administration as part of Maryland’s effort to develop a green energy economy in the state. ~Brian

  1. Phyllis

    Good for Mr. Aubinoe. This type of progressive and selfless thinking should really be rewarded, recognized, and made examples of.

    solar energy

Leave a Reply