By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy Florida will install up to 530 EV charging stations in three-year pilot

Energize Weekly, October 10, 2018

Duke Energy said it will install up to 530 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Florida as part of a pilot in tandem with a three-year program to promote and study EV use.

The “Park and Plug” program is focusing on placing charging stations for public use in areas with broad public access, such as sites with high traffic or major transport corridors, as well as in workplaces and near multi-unit dwellings.

Duke Energy Florida, which serves about 1.8 million customers, is working with communities and groups, to develop applications for the locations to host the charging units through 2022.

The utility also said that 10 percent of the charging stations will be installed in “income-qualified communities to make the benefits of cleaner electricity transportation available to all customers.”

Duke will own the charging stations, and it has selected NovaCHARGE, LLC to supply the equipment, install it and integrate program services.

In addition to the EV charging station pilot, Duke has launched “Charge Florida,” a three-year program aimed at assaying the impact on the grid of residential EV charging.

Information will be collected from about 200 Duke Energy Florida customers who drive EVs. The utility is seeking to gather information on location, time frame, length of vehicle charging and battery “state-of-charge” information. This “comprehensive dataset” will be used to plan for the integration of future EV charging demands.

Participants in the study will receive compensation and have FleetCarma C2 devices, which can monitor vehicle charging and battery use, attached to their cars. The data will be available to pilot volunteers through an online gateway, including statistics on charging history, energy consumption, and battery state-of-charge and total greenhouse gas emissions saved.

Duke called it “information that will help empower customers to increase driving and charging efficiencies.”

“After the first year of baseline data gathering, the program’s second phase will encourage participants to modify their charging behaviors to reduce the impacts of EV charging on the grid,” the utility said.

Duke agreed to install 500 EV charging stations as part of a revised settlement last year with the Florida Public Service Commission. The utility is also investing $6 billion in electric grid improvements.

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