In Vermont, a bed & breakfast housed in an 1850s home is getting a 21st century makeover.

The West Hill House B&B and Retreat Center in Warren, Vermont, now offers electric-car charging, powered by solar panels.

The inn's owners recently acquired a 25-percent stake in the Same Sun Solar Society solar farm in Poultney, Vermont.

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Electricity from the solar farm will be used to power the facility, as well as to provide electricity for two on-site Tesla charging stations.

This 240-volt charging stations--what Tesla calls "destination chargers"--were installed last December, along with a third 240-Volt Level 2 station for non-Tesla models.

Tesla has been installing AC charging stations at locations such as hotels, parks, and restaurants, where drivers are expected to park for longer periods of time.

Solar farm used by West Hill House B&B, Warren, Vermont

Solar farm used by West Hill House B&B, Warren, Vermont

This supplements the Supercharger DC fast-charging stations, usually located along major highways, which Tesla wants to reserve for quick stops on long-distance drives.

Adding solar power helps the B&B lower the carbon footprint of drivers who stay overnight at the West Hill House, and recharge their cars there.

The solar farm was designed by Same Sun of Vermont, and incorporates U.S. manufactured solar panels.

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In making their investment, co-owners Peter and Susan MacLaren felt it was important to support local green businesses, as well as try to make a positive environmental impact.

It's one of several green initiatives undertaken by the owners over the past few years.

In February 2009, they added a solar hot water pre-heating system, designed to supply up to two thirds of needed hot water year round.

Tesla Model S charging at West Hill House B&B, Warren, Vermont

Tesla Model S charging at West Hill House B&B, Warren, Vermont

The company car is also a Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

While carmakers, government agencies, and other large entities often seem to be the driving force behind charging infrastructure, small businesses can still do their part by installing stations on their properties.

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A comprehensive network of charging stations is needed to make electric cars attractive to a greater swath of consumers.

And this added perk for electric-car drivers could even bring in more customers, who have nothing else to do but wait while their cars charge, anyway.

As restaurateur Tom Moloughney can attest, electric-car drivers will seek out businesses with charging stations and patronize them--including Nauna's, his Italian restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey.



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