The Washington Times - August 8, 2011, 07:16PM

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Monday attended the opening of the state’s first sun-tracking electric vehicle charger as part of a continued effort to push for green technology in the state.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, spoke briefly in Bethesda at a ceremony unveiling the Solar Power Pole, a vehicle charging station built by Columbia-based Advanced Technology and Research Corp.

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The station, which includes an 18-foot-tall, 1,410-watt six-panel solar array, uses GPS technology to track the sun’s movements — increasing its efficiency by 30 to 45 percent over conventional panels, according to the company.

Mr. O’Malley has spoken often in support of clean energy and its potential for job creation. His administration has set the goal of generating 20 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2022.

“This electric vehicle charging station, powered by the sun, is helping us to create jobs and power our way into a more balanced future,” he said.

The governor last week appointed members to the state’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council, which will oversee installation of charging stations and encourage consumers to buy plug-in electric vehicles. The state expects to have 78 charging stations installed statewide by the end of the summer.