National Grid Seeks $166 Million for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Development Program

As part of its petition seeking an increase in distribution rates and approval of a performance-based ratemaking plan, which was filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) on November 15, 2018, National Grid is requesting up to $166.5 million to implement Phase II of its Electric Vehicle Market Development Program. In September, the DPU approved Phase I of National Grid’s EV Program—which provides over $20 million for, among other things, customer rebates for the purchase of EV charging station equipment, construction and upgrades for charging station installation, marketing, and R&D. Phase II would significantly expand the scope of Phase I, and would seek to install up to 17,400 Level 2 and 300 DCFC (direct current fast charge) charging ports at over 10,000 sites in Grid’s service territory.

Like Phase I, Phase II would, with certain restrictions, provide funding for infrastructure upgrades and customer rebates. The Phase II proposal includes: a Level 2 residential charging program, which aims to promote installation of EV chargers at single-family homes; a Level 2 non-residential charging program, which targets “long dwell time sites” such as public parking areas, stadiums, airports, and entertainment venues; and a DCFC program, which targets highway and retail locations, and public transit and school bus sites. In contrast to Phase I, which did not allow for company ownership of EV charging stations, Phase II would permit both customer-owned charging stations and company-owned charging stations. Additionally, the current proposal would offer an Off-Peak Charging Rebate to participants in the residential charging program, and a DCFC Demand Charge Discount.

In addition to the charging station component, the company’s EV proposal includes a Fleet Services Advisory Plan that would provide data to operators to assist in electrifying their fleets, a marketing component, an evaluation component, and an R&D component. The R&D component would focus on increasing access to electric transportation in disadvantaged communities and, in collaboration with third parties, would also include research regarding the benefits of co-locating DCFCs with solar and energy storage.

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