Clean Cities Connection: Utility EV Plans

October 30, 2020

On Mon­day, Octo­ber 19, 2020, Den­ver Metro Clean Cities Coali­tion gath­ered rep­re­sen­ta­tives from util­i­ties, pow­er sup­ply com­pa­nies, and non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions to have an open dis­cus­sion about the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of elec­tric vehi­cle (EV) pro­grams for util­i­ties in Colorado.

Our guests includ­ed Mike Frai­ley from Tri-State Gen­er­a­tion & Trans­mis­sion Asso­ci­a­tion, a major pow­er sup­pli­er to rur­al coop­er­a­tives across the State of Col­orado. Aaron Carr from Black Hills Ener­gy, and Lau­ra Getts & Jon Bey­er from San Isabel Elec­tric Asso­ci­a­tion (SIEA), both of which oper­ate in the south and south­east­ern areas of the state. Matt From­mer from South­west Ener­gy Effi­cien­cy Project (SWEEP) and Zach Owens from the Col­orado Ener­gy Office and the Col­orado Elec­tric Vehi­cle Coalition’s (CEVC) sub­group on Ben­e­fi­cial Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion joined us to lend their exper­tise as well.

Our pre­sen­ters intro­duced us to both estab­lished plans and pro­grams still in-devel­op­ment that sup­port the deploy­ment of EVs and elec­tric vehi­cle ser­vice equip­ment (EVSE) across Col­orado. Tri-State offers sug­ges­tions on set­ting EV-spe­cif­ic rates and EV toolk­it called "Choose EV" to all their coop mem­bers, which pro­vides basic edu­ca­tion­al infor­ma­tion about EVs and EV mod­els, finan­cial incen­tives, and charg­ing facts.

Black Hills Ener­gy described the con­cept behind their Trans­porta­tion Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Plan, which is cur­rent­ly await­ing tes­ti­mo­ny and approval by the Col­orado Pub­lic Util­i­ty Com­mis­sion (PUC). Matt From­mer with SWEEP, like­wise, pro­vid­ed an overview of Xcel Energy’s Trans­porta­tion Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Plan, which is cur­rent­ly under­go­ing the approval process with the PUC. Matt also deliv­ered an expla­na­tion regard­ing the ben­e­fits of EVs to the elec­tric­i­ty grid, includ­ing describ­ing the ben­e­fit to rate pay­ers, whether they are EV dri­vers or not.

San Isabel Elec­tric pro­vid­ed back­ground of their ongo­ing efforts to get more EVs on the road. Includ­ing pro­grams that offer incen­tives to cus­tomers for the pur­chase of an EV, as well as their efforts in work­ing with pri­vate part­ners to install EVSE across their ser­vice territory.

Zach Owens, with the CEVC, pro­vid­ed a brief update about the statewide stake­hold­er group’s efforts to sup­port EVSE deploy­ment, as well as pro­vid­ed updates from the Col­orado Ener­gy Office.

Click for Slides

The open dis­cus­sion proved ben­e­fi­cial to all our pre­sen­ters, as well as the many atten­dees who rep­re­sent­ed orga­ni­za­tions and oth­er util­i­ty coops across the state. Top­ics includ­ing the chal­lenges of fund­ing charg­ing sta­tion instal­la­tion, design­ing spe­cif­ic EV-charg­ing rates, and nav­i­gat­ing peak demand charges were touched on through­out the event.

We are enthu­si­as­tic about the engage­ment in the con­ver­sa­tion around util­i­ty EV pro­grams and we hope to see more statewide col­lab­o­ra­tion between both big and small coops in the future.

The oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect coops across the state and brain­storm ideas about how to improve sup­port of EVs and EVSE is a key part of the work that Den­ver Metro Clean Cities does. We hope to con­tin­ue to work with diverse util­i­ties and to bring them togeth­er in a col­lab­o­ra­tive envi­ron­ment again in the near future.

Thank you to all par­ties who made this event such a great success!

Writ­ten by: Son­ja Meints­ma, Project Man­ag­er at Den­ver Metro Clean Cities Coalition

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