Florida Power & Light wants to put an EV fast-charging station at Destin's Marler St. Lot

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

With the growing number of electric vehicles on the road, Destin is looking at options for charging stations. 

During the City Council's Dec. 12 meeting, Charlie Driver of Florida Power and Light Development Organization presented the idea of an EV fast-charging station in the Marler Street parking lot at Harbor Boulevard (U.S. 98) and Marler Street. 

“EVs are growing rapidly. Florida is the No. 2 state for the adoption of EVs,” Driver said.  

Destin is considering an EV charging station, such as this one that is at Young Chevrolet in Owosso, Michigan.

Florida has about 150,000 EVs on the road and “growing fast,” he said. 

“We want to enhance mobility for the EV driver. They are all over our state,” he said. 

Driver said that FPL was looking to provide four EV fast chargers on city property. 

“There would be no investment on the city's behalf other than the spaces. We’re just looking for property to put the chargers on,” he said. 

FPL says the Marler Street Parking Lot would be "great" for an EV fast charging station.

Driver said the Marler Street Parking Lot, visible on U.S. 98, would be an ideal spot. FPL is looking for a 10-year agreement to do that. 

“We’d bring everything turn key … we’d bring everything to the spot,” Driver said. 

The charging station would also be added to the FPL app that shows where all charging stations are on a map. 

“I don’t see a downside to this,” Councilman Dewey Destin said after the presentation. 

Destin noted the council already had $50,000 set aside for something like this and now with the possibility of partnering with FPL, that money could be used elsewhere. 

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Councilwoman Teresa Hebert asked Driver how long it would take to get the charging stations operational. 

Driver said about 10 months, noting they already preordered some equipment.

Councilman Torey Geile questioned who would be responsible for maintaining the charging station? 

“We’re responsible for long-term maintenance,” Driver said. 

The cost to charge would be 30 cents a kilowatt hour, which is regulated through the state. 

Mayor Bobby Wagner first brought up the idea of EV charging stations last year while on the council. 

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“We are embracing the future and looking for options to bring EV charging stations to our community,” Wagner said. 

Although no agreement was struck with FPL at the meeting, Wagner said they are “definitely interested and open to all" but the FPL proposal "seems to be a win win situation." 

FPL is asking for a couple of parking spaces and it would do the rest. 

“We wouldn’t be a middle man … they would get all the money from it,” Wagner said. 

“And we’d still charge our parking rate. I think it’s great.” 

The Marler Street parking lot is a pay-to-park area. 

“For us to facilitate all forms of transportation I think is just good for the local economy and businesses,” Wagner said.