CPUC/NRG Settlement Agreement
In 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved an agreement between NRG Energy and the CPUC to settle outstanding legal issues regarding the California energy crisis. The settlement requires NRG to invest $102.5 million to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state.
The NRG Settlement includes multiple project designs with five key components: public fast charging stations, electrical upgrades for EV charging stations at existing building facilities, research and development on advanced charging technologies, and programs to increase EV access for under-served communities.
- Public Fast Charging "Freedom Stations": $50.5 million of the settlement budget is allocated to build at least 200 50kW public fast-charging stations owned by NRG. Each station must be made up of at least one DC fast charging (50kW) port and one Level 2 (240 volt) charging port, or two 50kW DC fast charging ports. NRG has alread met the required 200 stations and has until December 5, 2018 to complete construction on any additional fast charging stations it can finance using the remainder of the $50.5 million allocated budget. NRG must own and operate all of the "Freedom Stations" it installs using the Settlement funding until December 5, 2020.
- The DC fast charging stations must be regionally distributed across the LA Basin, San Francisco Bay Are, San Joaquin Valley, and San Diego
- A minimum of 20 percent of the DC fast charging stations installed in each region must be in qualifying low-income locations.
- Electrical Upgrades for EV Charging at Existing Facilities "Make Readies" and Charging Plazas: The Settlement originally allocated $40 million of the budget for NRG to install infrastructure to support at least 10,000 "make-ready" stubs at 1,000 existing facilities. These upgrades should allow a site host to install an EV charging station without any additional electrical infrastructure upgrades. There are regional distribution requirements for the make-ready sites, and NRG is required to ensure that specific percentages are installed at public interest sites such as community colleges, hospitals, and California State University campuses and workplaces.
- With the adoption of the second amendment to the settlement in early 2017, the requirement for NRG to install a certain percentage of its make-ready infrastructure in multi-unit dwelling facilities was removed and the port target was reduced from 10,000 to 6,875.
- The second settlement amendment authorizes NRG to spend up to $12.5 million of the $40 million "make-ready" infrastructure budget to build at least 10 charging plazas designed to serve residents of nearby multi-unit dwellings. A portion of that $12.5 million can also be used to add energy storage to the charging plazas or some existing "Freedom Stations." Each charging plaza must have at least three DC fast chargers and must be located in an area with a high concentration of apartment buildings.
- Stationary Storage Plus EV Charging (SSPEC): NRG will spend $1.9 million to demonstrate how micro-grid components, including energy storage, on-site renewable generation, and EV charging, can reduce the cost of developing and operating DC fast charging stations and alleviate strain on the grid that may otherwise be associated with the high-powered charging facilities Upon successful economic and technical demonstration, EVgo intends to commercialize these technologies and integrate them across its Freedom Station network.
- High-Power EV Charging Demonstration: NRG will allocate $2.12 million to deploy first-of-its-kind high-power 150kW DC charging stations. EV service providers and car manufacturers are using this demonstration site as a test bed for technology, which may allow for the development of standards around high-power charging. The project includes two sites in California, one in Fremont and one in Baker.
- EV Storage Accelerator (EVSA): NRG will spend $1 million and coordinate with University of California San Diego, Nissan and Honda, to test four vehicle-grid integration use cases: interconnection, transformer upgrade deferral, emergency power backup, and the value of vehicle-to-grid integration.
- Programs for Under-Served Communities ("EV Opportunity Programs"): NRG is also required to spend $4 million on projects that increase awareness of the social benefits of electric vehicles while creating opportunities for residents of under-served communities gain access to electric vehicles. NRG has allocated that funding between two projects:
- Green Raiteros: NRG is spending $519,400 on an 18-month partnership with San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advancement Project (Valley LEAP), the Fresno County Rural Transit Authority (FCRTA), the Shared Use Mobility Center (SUMC), and West Hills Community Colleget to build upon an existing grassroots ridesharing program in the San Joaquin Valley, The Raiteros. NRG will help establish a sustainable business plan for electrifying the Raiteros program's vehicles, deploy EV charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles for the program, and demonstrate the use case for rural ridesharing.
- Electric Access Charging Hub (EACH): NRG will spend $3,480,600 to develop seven EV charging hubs in disadvantaged communities that will serve the public as well as shared electric vehicles. Each site will have at least four 50kW DC fast chargers and offer shared EVs through a carshare operator.
On April 27, 2012, the CPUC filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a settlement agreement to establish a statewide network of charging stations for Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs). On November 5, 2012, FERC issued an order approving the Settlement.
FERC Order Approving Settlement (Docket No. EL02-60)
On November 2, 2015, CPUC and NRG jointly filed with FERC eight technical amendments to the settlement agreement. On February 24, 2016, FERC issued an order approving the amendment.
On February 22, 2017, CPUC and NRG agreed to a second amendment to the settlement agreement to extend and increase the public benefits related to the settlement agreement and amend some technical requirements within the amendment.
The Settlement calls for two third-party audit examinations of NRG's compliance with the agreement's provisions. The first was to occur starting at the conclusion of Settlement Year 2, and the second when NRG believes it has completed all of its commitments. The first audit report was completed in Q3 2018 and provides the CPUC with a third-party opinion on NRG's compliance with the Settlement Agreement requirements up to the launch of that examination. The auditor prepared a report that includes findings, observations, recommendations, and NRG's responses to the examination's outcome. The auditor's report is available for download here.
Quarterly and Annual Reports
NRG is required to report their progress installing the PEV infrastructure to the CPUC quarterly and annually.
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