Andrea Harrington, WCMES general manager, plugs in the charging unit for the first charge
The Weakley County (Tn.) Municipal Electric System announced on Tuesday that it is the first local power company in Tennessee to install a fast charger location (109 University Street, Martin, Tn.) as part of Fast Charge TN, a partnership between the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and Seven States Power Corporation.
This Fast Charge TN installation is part of the regional Fast Charge Network that will cover major travel corridors across TVA’s seven-state service area and will complement the broader efforts of the National Electric Highway Coalition, which seeks to enable long-distance EV travel by placing fast chargers along interstates and major highways throughout the United States, officials said.
“We moved quickly to participate in Fast Charge TN because we want to make it easy for people to choose EVs so our community can enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of electric transportation,” said Andrea Harrington, general manager of WCMES.
“The funding from TVA makes it possible to add fast chargers in our community by providing 80% of the project cost.”
TVA and TDEC have brought together local power companies, state and local government partners, and others to pave the way for over 200,000 EVs on Tennessee Valley roads by 2028.
TVA officials said, "The benefits that EVs bring to the Tennessee Valley region are significant:
- Attracting good jobs -- $13.8 billion in EV and battery manufacturing have helped create over 10,000 EV-related jobs.
- Reducing carbon emissions from gasoline vehicles by almost 1 million metric tons per year.
- Reinvesting $120 million in the local economy every year from electric refueling.
- Saving drivers up to $1,000 in fuel and maintenance costs every year."
“At TVA we’ve moved far beyond connecting communities with power lines,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO. “EVs use our clean, low-cost, reliable electricity to keep refueling dollars in the local economy and reduce regional carbon emissions. Taking a leadership role in EV charging infrastructure allows TVA to save drivers money and attract good jobs and tourism– all powered by clean electricity from TVA and your local power company.”
“Fast charging stations provide Tennesseans with an important service, connect our rural and urban areas, and help protect the environment,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “We are proud to be a partner in this effort and we look forward to the benefits this step will bring to the community.”
“This charging location does more than charge cars - it connects Martin to the Fast Charge Network and plays an important role in putting our region on the leading edge of the new electric economy,” said Mayor Randy Brundige, city of Martin.
“This installation is not just about an electric charging station,” said Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum. “It is also about Weakley County being forward thinking and future ready. I appreciate TVA, WCMES, and the City of Martin for making this investment and being committed to leading the way for other communities across the state and region.”
“Seven States is trusted by local power companies across the Tennessee Valley to deliver EV charging technology for their consumers,” said Betsey Kirk McCall, President and CEO of Seven States Power Corporation. “Impactful partnerships like this benefit the local community, regional economy and global environment for years to come.”
WCMES is a municipal electric utility serving approximately 20,500 customers in the Weakley County, Bradford, and South Fulton areas.