Originally published on CleanTechnica.com
It is not always that one finds positive movement with large utilities in these game-changing days of renewable energy and EVs. A recent positive, announced in early July 2016, was Duke Energy’s $1.5 million program to progress public EV charging in North Carolina by 30%.
The news starts with $1 million to fund public charging stations. Anyone wanting fair play regarding public health will be particularly happy to hear that Duke Energy plans $500,000 for electric bus charging for transit agencies as well.
We have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to thank for this one. “Duke Energy and the U.S. government have agreed to end a 15-year-old legal case against the company for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at some of the company’s coal-fired power plants in North Carolina.”
Still denying the violations, Duke Energy “is agreeing to settle the case solely to avoid the costs and uncertainties of continued litigation, the company says in a settlement agreement filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, in Greensboro.”
“Duke Energy’s ‘EV Charging Infrastructure Support Project’ will provide $1 million to help cities and towns develop public charging stations for residents. Duke Energy will pay 100 percent up to $5,000 per charge port; $20,000 per site, or$50,000 per city under the program.”
“Over the past decade, Duke Energy has supported the development of several hundred electric vehicle charging stations in North Carolina,” said David Fountain, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, “Adoption of EVs depends on a robust infrastructure for consumers.”
Going on, the Duke Energy press release states: “Duke Energy has been active in building public charging stations at parking decks, libraries, and shopping areas. According to Advanced Energy, an independent, non-profit organization established by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, there are about 4,700 registered plug-in EVs and about 700 public charging ports spread out around North Carolina.”
I would love to ride mass transit almost exclusively — however, in the city where I live in Florida, it is quite a bit too slow/inconvenient. Still, in places where transit is adequate, electric buses improve the situation that much more since they offer quieter, smoother travel and no emissions. It is good to see an investment in electric transit as part of this story. “Duke Energy will pay 100 percent for electric bus charging infrastructure up to $250,000 per entity.” They will save immeasurably on this investment — money, hearts, and lungs … and, thus, lives.
I find such great diversity of people on and off the bus. Like a brief window into a collection of novellas. Each passenger is a story. A chat, a warm smile, a work-weary traveler looking forward to getting home to family, a young waiter on his way to work, a mother quietly nursing her child under a scarf, and on this trip the most helpful bus driver ever — I wished to tip him generously but he said no.
back to the electric bus funding: “The programs are targeted to cities and towns, which include both retail and wholesale customers. Interested parties may apply, but are not obligated to proceed if selected as a recipient. The deadline to apply is Sept. 1. Interested parties can download the public EV charging form here. The bus charging form can be downloaded here.”
If you have more questions about the programs, you can email PlugIn@Duke-Energy.com.