US utility Duke Energy announced that it will spend $1 million to increase the number of EV charging stations in its service territories in North Carolina.In a press statement, the utility firm said the capital will be used to construct close to 500 EV charging stations in 50 counties in North Carolina state.
Duke Energy will partner with multiple institutions including universities, owners of shopping malls and providers of EV charging technologies for the implementation of the project.
The utility will provide grants of up to $5,000 for the purchase and installation of the EV charging ports. Recipients of grant funding will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the charging stations.
The EV charging stations will be built in areas including shopping centres, libraries and public parking spaces.
The project will increase the number of public EV charging stations in North Carolina by 30%.
[quote] According to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, 5,300 EVs and 700 public charging stations have so far been registered in North Carolina.
David Fountain, president of Duke Energy in North Carolina, said: "The robust interest throughout the state is a positive sign that public EV charging will continue to grow in North Carolina.
"Expanding charging infrastructure is critical for more EV adoption in the future."
The project falls under efforts by Duke Energy to simplify its adoption of clean energy resources to reduce carbon emissions. [California utility partners to increase EV charging infrastructure].
Smart grid development
In early July, Duke Energy announced that it had secured approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to implement new smart energy infrastructure in Indiana.
The utility said the new grid infrastructure will be established to power more than 800,000 homes, businesses and industries in the US state.
The plan came into existence following an agreement between the utility and multiple stakeholders in the state’s power landscape, to implement a seven-year project, combining various advanced technologies and grid infrastructure to enhance customer services.
Stakeholders include the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, Steel Dynamics, Wabash Valley Power Association, Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Melody Birmingham-Byrd, president of Duke Energy in Indiana, said: "We have an aging energy grid - some equipment that is decades old - and our work will focus on replacing some older infrastructure to reduce power outages.
"We'll also be building a smarter energy structure with technology to provide the type of information and services that consumers have come to expect," added Byrd.
Duke Energy revised and filed the proposal in December 2015 following its denial in May 2015.