A DuPage County hemp farm, Kerry Farms, is among the recipients of a $12.6 million grant aimed at building chargers for electric vehicles (EVs). The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) will provide Kerry Farms with nearly $480,000 to establish the chargers. These funds are made available through the 2016 Volkswagen settlement, from which Illinois received approximately $109 million. The grants will support the installation of 348 new Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) ports across 87 locations throughout the state.
Governor JB Pritzker (D) highlighted the significance of this program in advancing Illinois’ mission to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050. He stated that it brings the state “one step closer” to its renewable energy goals.
Joe Sheehan, founder and owner of Kerry Farms, expressed his optimism regarding the project. He believes his company can utilize the grant to construct six public chargers in DuPage, Peoria, and St. Clair counties, targeting high-traffic areas. Sheehan acknowledged the potential risks but emphasized the importance of taking such initiatives, as no one else seems willing to do so.
It is noteworthy that Kerry Farms is the only farm included in this grant program. Other companies participating in the initiative include BP Pulse, ChargePoint, Francis Energy, GPM Midwest, Loves Travel Stops, Pilot Travel Centers, Powered Dynamics, Road Ranger, and Universal EV. With this support, Illinois aims to enhance EV charging infrastructure statewide, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation system.