NRG Energy will build a statewide network of electric vehicle stations in California as part of a $120 million settlement it reached with the state to resolve litigation over a 2001 wholesale power contract, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. and the company said Friday.
Brown said in a statement the plan would include the addition of at least 200 fee-based public fast-charging stations and 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across California.
NRG, which will build the charging stations over a four-year period, said the fast-charging stations — to be installed in the state's major metropolitan areas — will be capable of adding 50 miles of range to an EV in less than 15 minutes. In addition, the company said it will wire at least 10,000 individual charging stations at homes, offices, multi-family communities, schools and hospitals across the state.
Brown also said he had signed an executive order to allow California to add 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.
"This executive order strengthens California's position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles and the settlement will dramatically expand California's electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Brown said.
The state said the settlement reached with NRG resolves outstanding litigation over a long-term power contract the state signed in March 2001 with Dynegy, then a co-owner with NRG of a portfolio of power plants in the state. NRG assumed responsibility for the issue when it acquired Dynegy's stake in the plants in 2006.
Under the program, $100 million will be spent to add charging stations. The remaining $20 million will be used for ratepayer relief.
The fast-charging stations will be installed in the San Francisco area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County, Brown's office said.
"The settlement will launch a virtuous circle, in which ever more Californians will feel comfortable driving EVs, and growing EV sales will in turn attract ever more investment in charging infrastructure to our state," said Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey. "It will create jobs in California, help clean our air, and support attainment of our greenhouse gas reduction goals."
The California Air Resources Board in January voted to require the largest automakers to derive 15%, or about 1.4 million, of their annual California sales from EVs and other zero or near-zero emissions vehicles by 2025.
Brown's executive order establishes a number of targets, including that by 2015 all major cities in the state have adequate infrastructure and be "zero-emission-vehicle ready."
The order also states that by 2050, "virtually all personal transportation" in California will be "based on zero-emission vehicles and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector will be reduced by 80% below 1990 levels."