PSE’s effort will support a $100 million Department of Energy grant awarded to ECOtality’s Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) subsidiary to deploy up to 2,240 charging stations and approximately 1,000 Nissan LEAF EVs (electric vehicles) in cities throughout the Puget Sound area, including Bellevue, the utility’s headquarters, and other suburban locations in King County. PSE will assist with the roll-out of charging stations for the Nissan LEAF and other EVs, and is studying how the increased use of EVs may impact the demand for energy and the energy infrastructure.
“PSE is committed to working with EV leaders such as Nissan and eTec and sees our support for electric car and transportation options as a logical extension of our work in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Steve Reynolds, PSE president and CEO. “We congratulate eTec on its grant award, and look forward to serving our residential and business customers with the energy infrastructure required for the electric cars we will soon see on the road.”
As part of The EV Project, PSE will be collaborating with Nissan, eTec and municipalities and customers in the region in providing the energy infrastructure needed for the development of electric vehicles charging stations in King County and other portions of Western Washington served by the utility. The nation’s second-largest utility owner and operator of wind power, PSE will be exploring how EV charging stations and renewable energy generating facilities, such as wind and solar power, work together to reduce the carbon emissions from the transportation system.
“We are fortunate in the Northwest to have abundant hydropower, wind power and other clean energy resources,” said Reynolds. “Using these resources to power new transportation alternatives makes sense for both our environment and our economy.”
In addition to Nissan and eTec, PSE is working with other automakers, utilities, and government agencies and is also testing two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to help the utility better understand the energy demands and infrastructure challenges presented by greater use of electricity in transportation. Plug-in hybrids use electric power from batteries that are recharged through the electrical grid to provide the primary power source for short- and medium-range trips, using their gasoline engine only when necessary. The PHEV automobiles join 48 conventional hybrid vehicles in PSE’s fleet, and PSE’s first hybrid service line truck, which entered service in April 2009. The vehicle, which is a heavy duty diesel-electric hybrid, is being used by the utility to restore power in routine and storm situations.
For more information about The EV Project, please visit www.theEVproject.com.
Washington state’s oldest and largest energy utility, with a 6,000-square-mile service area stretching across 11 counties, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers. PSE, a subsidiary of Puget Energy, meets the energy needs of its growing customer base primarily in Western Washington through incremental, cost-effective energy conservation, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service to deliver energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible.