Springfield News-Sun

Fish farm installs free charging station for customers’ vehicles

Many people drive up to 3 hours for the market at Freshwater Farms.

- By Brooke Spurlock Staff Writer Contact this reporter at brooke.spurlock@coxinc.com.

A farm in Champaign County has installed a free charging station for electric vehicles.

Freshwater Farms of Ohio installed a Level 2 charging station with 50-amp, 220-volt service for Tesla and other EV brands equipped with a standard J1772 connector plug at 2624 U.S. 68, a mile north of Urbana.

The charging station is free during the farm’s business hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We installed the charging station for the convenienc­e of our customers. Many of them drive one to three hours to visit us,” said President David Smith.

Smith said many people come to the farm, one of Ohio’s largest indoor fish hatcheries, for its market, which features a wide selection of seafood, local specialty foods, wine and beer, as well as fountains, fish to stock ponds, aquatic animal displays, a sturgeon petting zoo, a chance to feed trout and the wildflower­s.

“Since our beginning in 1986, we’ve been big proponents of innovation in aquacultur­e and eco-friendly technology,” Smith said.

The farm conserves water with a recirculat­ing aquacultur­e system designed by Smith, and grows trout and other fish with sustainabl­e plant-based feeds.

Other charging stations in Champaign County are at: White’s Ford, 1246 N. Main St. in Urbana, and Ohio Caverns, 2210 Ohio 245 East in West Liberty.

Smith said next on the farm’s “green technology agenda” is to install solar panels on the south-facing roofs of its buildings to generate an estimated 80% of the farm’s electrical needs.

“Eventually, we plan to add more solar panels that will meet or exceed our total electrical usage, and the day may come when we’ll have storage batteries to back up our essential systems during power failures, without having to use gasoline-powered generators,” he said.

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D ?? An electric vehicle is charged at Freshwater Farms of Ohio in Champaign County.
CONTRIBUTE­D An electric vehicle is charged at Freshwater Farms of Ohio in Champaign County.

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