Pacific Power

US utility Pacific Power has secured approval from the Public Utility Commission of Oregon to implement three electric vehicle (EV) pilot projects.

Pacific Power will under the pilot initiatives:

Put customers behind the wheel. By providing information and services and sponsoring ride-and-drive events where consumers can get first-hand experience with EVs and chargers to make informed decisions about what is right for them.

Invest in Innovation by providing grants to help non-residential customers develop creative, community-driven electric transportation infrastructure projects. The utility will grant $1.5 million for projects that advance transportation electrification in areas such as workplace charging.

Install, own and operate seven charging sites, with each site featuring dual-standard DC fast chargers, and at least one Level 2 charging port in Oregon.

The pilots are an effort by Pacific Power to ensure that more than 50,000 EVs are in use in Oregon by 2020.

The utility is making use of the pilots in preparing its grid network interoperable with future consumer and regulatory demands, and business models.

For instance, increasing EV use will help reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector and help Pacific Power to meet carbon emission reduction mandates set under 2016 Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act.

According to the Oregon Global Warming Commission, the transportation sector is the highest contributor to Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions.

Stefan Bird, CEO at Pacific Power, said: "We are making the grid more efficient, cleaner, and more reliable.

"We are bringing even more renewable resources online in a smarter, more resilient grid that will reduce emissions from our power supply while keeping costs low."

Pacific Power has plans to add 1,300MW of new wind generation, upgrade existing wind generation, and provide new transmission to support that generation.

The utility is investing $3.5 billion towards such initiatives and the rolling out of smart meters to shorten outage response time, while reducing overall energy costs to consumers.