The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) has approved two Duke Energy electric transportation (ET) pilot programs that will allow South Carolina to join other states in deploying electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing EV market.
Originally proposed in 2018, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress participated in extensive working-group sessions with stakeholders for feedback on the innovative 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.
"EVs 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’s 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."
Program details are given below:
- Fast Charging Program: Duke Energy will install, own, and operate 60 fast chargers across Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress South Carolina territories to provide a foundational level of infrastructure and facilitate EV market growth. Fast chargers installed under this program will feature next-generation power output of 100 kW and above, ensuring South Carolina keeps pace with advances in the market.
- Residential EV Charging Program: This program will provide up to a total of US$1000 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.
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 South Carolina programs join others that have been proposed or implemented across the states served by Duke Energy. The company recently announced that by 2030, it will convert all its light-duty vehicles to electric and 50% of its medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road vehicles to EVs, plug-in hybrids, or other zero-carbon alternatives.
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 PSCSC. The programs start Jan. 1, 2021. Duke Energy customers interested in participating can learn more here.