Governor Jerry Brown joined with the California Public Utilities Commission to announce a $120 million dollar settlement with NRG Energy Inc. that will fund the construction of a statewide network of charging stations for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including at least 200 public fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state.
Brown was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
The settlement stems from California’s energy crisis.
The Governor also announced that he has signed an executive order laying the foundation for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California’s roadways by 2025.
“This executive order strengthens California’s position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles,” said Governor Brown, “and the settlement will dramatically expand California’s electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
The settlement announced resolves ten-year-old claims against a subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., then a co-owner with NRG of the portfolio of power generating plants currently owned by NRG in California, for costs of long-term power contracts signed in March 2001. NRG assumed full responsibility for resolving this matter in 2006 when NRG acquired Dynegy’s 50% interest in the assets. One hundred million dollars from the settlement will fund the fast-charging stations and the installation of the plug-in units and electrical upgrades, at no cost to taxpayers. The remaining twenty million dollars will be directed to ratepayer relief.
The network of charging stations funded by the settlement will be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County. This new infrastructure network is a breakthrough in encouraging consumer adoption of electric vehicles and will contribute significantly to achieving California’s clean car goals.
“The settlement will launch a virtuous circle in which ever more Californians will feel comfortable driving EVs, and growing EV sales will in turn attract ever more investment in charging infrastructure to our state,” said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. “It will create jobs in California, help clean our air, and support attainment of our greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
Added CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio: “This is a truly creative deal that offers tremendous value for California utility customers. In one stroke it closes out an unfortunate chapter in our history and propels us down the road to a clean transportation future. Through the settlement, EVs will become a viable transportation option for many Californians who do not have the option to have a charging station at their residence.”
Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board Chair (CARB), lauded the settlement agreement. “California has the most aggressive clean transportation goals in the nation,” said Nichols. “The automakers are already building clean electric cars. This infrastructure infusion will give consumers the confidence to go out and buy them, which is what needs to happen for us to clean our air, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on imported oil.”
In January, CARB voted to require the largest automakers to derive 15 percent, or about 1.4 million, of their annual California sales from electric vehicles and other zero or near-zero emissions vehicles by 2025.
The Executive Order issued by the Governor sets the following targets:
• By 2015, all major cities in California will have adequate infrastructure and be “zero-emission vehicle ready”;
• By 2020, the state will have established adequate infrastructure to support 1 million zero-emission vehicles in California;
• By 2025, there will be 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California; and
• By 2050, virtually all personal transportation in the State will be based on zero-emission vehicles, and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector will be reduced by 80 percent below 1990 levels.
AB 32, the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, calls for a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The goal of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 was set by an executive order signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Last year, Governor Brown signed SB X1-2, which directed the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations setting a 33 percent renewable energy target.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.