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Duke Energy approved for two electric vehicle pilot programs

Duke Energy approved for two electric vehicle pilot programs

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GREENVILLE, S.C. — Electric car users may soon have a new place to plug in. 

Duke Energy, parent of Duke Energy Progress, the electric company serving Florence, announced Wednesday morning that it had received approval from the state's Public Service Commission for two electric vehicle pilot programs. 

The first pilot is the fast-charging program. 

Duke plans to install, own and operate 60 fast chargers across Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress South Carolina territories. Fast chargers installed under this program will feature power output of 100 kilowatts and above.

The second pilot is the residential electric vehicle charging program. 

It will provide up to a total of $1,000 for 400 residential Duke Energy Carolinas customers who install a Level 2 charging station, provide access to their charging data, and manage EV charging load to occur during off-peak periods.

“Electric vehicles are coming to South Carolina, but more investment is needed to grow the adoption of this evolving technology and the benefits it brings to the state,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy South Carolina president. “We’re listening to our customers to ensure we understand their electrification plans and needs. These pilot programs will help prepare us to meet the challenge to ensure we can keep up with increasing demand for electrification.”

The programs were originally proposed in 2018. 

Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress participated in working-group sessions with stakeholders for feedback on the plans.

The approved programs — the first in the Carolinas — reflect the inclusion of much of that feedback, as well as agreements with the Office of Regulatory Staff and ChargePoint.

Duke Energy Carolinas is the electric utility that serves customers primarily in the Upstate region of South Carolina, while Duke Energy Progress serves customers in the Pee Dee.

The pilot programs were designed to support the growing EV market in South Carolina considering the significant economic benefits created by switching transportation fuel from gasoline to electricity. Expanding access to fast-charging infrastructure will allow customers across South Carolina who drive electric to enjoy significant fuel cost savings and help eliminate emissions from transportation.

The residential program from Duke Energy Carolinas will also gather current charging load data to better understand the effects of EVs on Duke Energy’s electric system and determine the ability of customers to respond to load management programs.

The findings of these programs will be available to the public through an annual stakeholder engagement process as well as a final report submitted to the Public Service Commission. The programs start Jan. 1, 2021.

Duke Energy customers interested in participating can learn more at duke-energy.com/business/products/park-and-plug.

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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