More than 200 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be installed soon under Duke Energy's "EV Charging Infrastructure Project,” the utility company announced Thursday.
The project, which is part of a legal settlement with federal regulators last year, includes new stations planned for almost 50 counties around the state. The $1 million project pays up to $5,000 for the purchase and installation of each charging port. That should cover the cost of the stations – depending on its proximity to existing electrical infrastructure. The project received overwhelming interest – with more than 500 charging stations requested from around the state.
"The robust interest throughout the state is a positive sign that public EV charging will continue to grow in North Carolina," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "Expanding charging infrastructure is critical for more EV adoption in the future."
Duke Energy has been active in building public charging stations at parking decks, libraries and shopping areas. According to Advanced Energy, an independent, non-profit organization established by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, there are about 5,300 registered plug-in EVs and about 700 public charging ports spread out around North Carolina.
"We are excited to receive the grant from Duke Energy for two electric vehicle charging stations," said Dr. Carol Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury. "The stations will be located on the North Campus and will be a very visible example of the college's commitment to sustainability."
Recipients have the ability to put the charging stations in a location of their choice – and operate them how they see fit. For recipients who choose not to go forward with the installations – other recipients will be named.
The Duke Energy program was part of a settlement reached last year with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups. Duke Energy and the EPA agreed to end a 15-year-old legal case for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at some of the company’s coal-fired plants in North Carolina.
The government asserted that certain maintenance and repair projects at the power plants were major modifications, as defined by the Clean Air Act, and that Duke Energy failed to obtain permits for the projects and install the best available emission controls, as required, according to reports.