The PUC’s order also directs NV Energy to set aside funds for an energy storage and low-income solar plan, but the electric vehicle charging portion is the largest and likely most significant. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Chris Nelder told the Independent it is “probably the most contentious topic right now in the [electric vehicle] infrastructure space.”
The funds will go to help complete the state’s electric highway, incentivize workplace and multi-unit charging, and convert diesel fleets to electric.
NV Energy can own and operate stations, but the order specifies that those “will be reviewed for prudence in a future rate filing.” The utility also agreed the commission would regulate any EV charging rates rates levied at stations owned by NV Energy, though stations operated by third parties would not be regulated.
Opponents of allowing NV Energy to own stations point to the potential cost on ratepayers and say it is inappropriate for the regulated monopoly to be moving into another business area.
Regulators noted the state is already involved in testing driverless cars, and “as such, Nevada must continue to be a key player in self-driving EVs to ensure the continued flow of economic benefits and to remain a national leader in this technology.”
The PUC also directed NV Energy to set aside $1 million annually, for six years, to develop solar generation resources that benefit low-income customers. The utility will direct $5 million each towards two categories of energy storage: residential and small commercial, and large-scale systems between 100 and 1,000 kW.
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