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Photos by Delhi Unified School District

Delhi Unified partnership focuses on sustainable energy

Delhi schools and a Los Angeles-based company are partnering on a program to spread sustainable energy in the community, bringing all-electric cars and charging stations to town.

The Sustainable Energy Pilot Program is a cooperative effort of the Delhi Unified School District, Greencommuter and the Leadership Council to bring electric vehicles and electric charging stations here, school Superintendent Adolfo Melara said.

Melara said the partnership is part of a California Air Resources Board plan to expand awareness of sustainable energy in Delhi. Seven Level 2 charging stations are being installed next to the district’s business office at Shanks and Schendel avenues.

Tentatively, six Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicles and two Teslas will be available for rental by Delhi residents for commuter and excursion purposes. The charging stations and the accompanying lot are near completion; two of the stations are fast-charging stations.

“We want to be participants in the next wave of society’s use of sustainable energy,” Melara said. “We believe this will bring ancillary businesses to the local area and provide services for the community. That’s good for Delhi.”

Leslie Graham, director of grants and partnerships for Los Angeles-based Greencommuter, said the partnership is a great opportunity and she’s excited to see how the community of Delhi will adapt to the new technology.

Graham said Greencommuter is a private, benefit corporation which has a mission to eliminate pollution. Greencommuter has been approved to conduct business in a number of California counties, including Fresno, Kern and Los Angeles.

Melara said over the past four years the Delhi Unified School District Board of Education has discussed ways to bring sustainable energy to the community and the schools. Discussion of the actual partnership began in earnest last September.

Delhi trustees, the Municipal Advisory Council, parent and community groups heard informational presentations about the sustainable energy partnership. Melara said community members have been overwhelmingly supportive.

“Our community is very excited,” Melara said.

A number of Delhi area residents commute north and south along Highway 99 and some commute to the East Bay. Local residents are being trained to provide vanpool and ridesharing services to the public.

Before creation of the Delhi charging station, Melara said there are not very many electric vehicle charging stations in northern Merced County.

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