Electric vehicle charge station now at Renaissance

Electric vehicle charge station now at Renaissance


RIDGELAND — An electric vehicle fast charging station at the Rennaissance at Colony Park went online here last week and can charge a vehicle in as little as 30 minutes for as low as $20, Entergy officials say.

Entergy launched a direct current fast charging station pilot project located on the east side of Renaissance in the parking lot south of the Hyatt Place hotel on Jan. 5, Entergy spokesperson Mara Hartmann said. 

“They face the Renaissance stores and are close to the interstate,” Hartmann said.

An unveiling presentation of the stations included representatives from Entergy, the Nissan plant in Canton and Mississippi Department of Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons.

According to Hartmann, the facility is equipped with two direct current fast chargers that provide up to 120 kilowatts of power and are compatible with many different electric vehicle models. She said customers using the charging station pay $.30/kWh and, on average, an electric vehicle can be fully charged for between $20 and $30 within 30 or 45 minutes. 

These stations are the first company-owned electric vehicle charging station of their kind in Entergy Corporation’s four-state service area, Hartmann said. Entergy serves customers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.

Renee Morris, property manager for Renaissance at Colony Park, said bringing electric vehicle charging to the shopping center has been an ongoing project for over two and a half years.

“With the popularity of electric vehicles, we’ve had a lot of calls and interest in us providing chargers for our customer’s needs,” Morris said. “We are happy they chose Renaissance to be a part of this historical event.”

The station will serve both metro-area residents and electric vehicle drivers passing through on I-55 and nearby I-20. As electric vehicle owners use the charging station, Entergy will be able to study the impact of electric vehicles on the power grid, said Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi. 

“The complexities of the power grid require us to plan years ahead of when we’ll need infrastructure in place to serve our customers,” Fisackerly said. “By proactively installing this fast charging EV station pilot project, we’ll be able to learn in real-time the effects electric vehicle use has on our systems and implement technologies to help manage the demands we expect in the future.”

That information can help the company prepare for any needed improvements as power use from electric vehicle drivers increases.

“They have already exceeded expectations on the usage of them, per Entergy,” Morris said. “They are able to track all the detailed information.”

According to Entergy, the stations were a roughly $200,000 project.

“It’s important for the public and private sectors to be studying the utilization of these systems now regarding potential growth of electric vehicles in our state and the infrastructure needed to support their use,” said Commissioner Brent Bailey, central district, Mississippi Public Service Commission. “I appreciate the efforts of Entergy Mississippi as we all share the goal to better understand the electric vehicle market, infrastructure needs and consumer habits.”

Pilot projects like the charging stations can also help Mississippi towns and cities, as well as the state, understand how they can prepare to meet the demands of electric vehicles on their communities.

“Entergy Mississippi’s DC fast charging station pilot program will help us ultimately bridge the ‘charging gap’ on Mississippi roadways in (all areas) rural and urban,” said Willie Simmons, Mississippi Department of Transportation, central district commissioner. “Our hope is that one day EV drivers will no longer have to bypass our state because of a lack of charging infrastructure which hurts tourism and economic activity This public and private collaboration investment will yield great returns for the public sector.”

Hartmann said the pilot project will help Entergy determine where future electric vehicle charging stations could go.

“As for any future chargers,” Hartmann said. “We are evaluating potential sites within our service area for additional charging stations. This pilot project will help us determine where best to place those.”

Electric vehicle ownership is gaining ground. An estimated 26 million EVs are expected to be on America’s roads by 2030.

“Nissan has been a pioneer in electric vehicles, producing the first mass-market EV – the Nissan LEAF,” said David Sliger, vice president of manufacturing at Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant. “As we prepare to transform the Canton plant into a center for EV production with two all-new, all-electric EVs in 2025, Nissan applauds Entergy and its innovative efforts toward an electrified future.”

Electric vehicle production is part of the company's long-term vision they have dubbed Nissan Ambition 2030.

"The power of Nissan Canton is rooted in its employees, who will take us to new heights – continuing to drive the EV revolution for our company,” Sliger has previously said on the topic.

Nissan officials announced last February at the Canton facility to a crowd that included Gov. Tate Reeves that they would like to begin production of two new electric vehicles in Canton in 2023 though those vehicles will likely not be available in the North American market until 2025. Nissan officials said at the time that the upgrades represented a $500 million investment in the facility.

The exact models have not yet been identified, though the February announcement suggested one would be a Nissan product and the other an Infiniti. Nissan Chief Executive Ashwani Gupta said at the time Nissan wanted to have 15 electric vehicle models available on the global market by 2030.

Entergy Mississippi has supported other electric vehicle initiatives in addition to the direct current fast charging station pilot project. In 2011, through Entergy’s Environmental Initiatives Fund, the company funded electric vehicle charging station installations at universities across its footprint for use by students, faculty and staff, including stations at Jackson State University, University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi State University.

“Now we’re expanding beyond our universities, and we’re grateful to the city of Ridgeland for granting us the permits to construct this charging station,” Fisackerly said. “The lessons we learn through this pilot will help us better advise municipalities and developers throughout our service area as they plan for future electric vehicle charging stations in their area.”

In 2021, Entergy became a founding member of the National Electrification Highway Coalition. Partner utilities in the organization are working to address gaps along major transportation corridors in their respective service areas. Coalition members currently consist of more than 60 investor-owned and municipal electric companies and electric cooperatives collectively serving more than 120 million U.S. electric customers across 48 states and the District of Columbia.

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