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Avista has a long tradition of innovation, and as the industry changes we want to evolve – where new technologies and opportunities present themselves, we want to take advantage of that to better serve the customer. Customers are at the center of everything we do.
Electric transportation is an emerging example of one of those opportunities. This is about a better energy future for everyone – moving people or things using electricity – in a way that is cheaper, cleaner, more fun, and more sustainable.
In our region, billions of dollars each year are spent on petroleum fuel and maintenance of our collective fleet of vehicles. That can be dramatically reduced with the transition to electric transportation, creating a major economic ripple effect.
Also, there’s the opportunity to cut emissions by 80% or more, from the industry sector that is the major source of emissions in our region. This is largely due to the inexpensive, clean hydroelectric power and natural gas that we have in the area.
Add to this great performance, energy security and benefits to the grid.
This is a big win from just about any angle you look at it.
To begin to support EV adoption and understand how EVs could affect the grid, we launched a program in 2016.
The utility provides the customer a trusted product and service, owning and maintaining the equipment to ensure reliability. This helps support and accelerate EV adoption, as well as a learning platform for new technologies involving load management.
Results so far are encouraging in terms of customer satisfaction and overall operational costs. Some reliability issues and costs are a concern however, and need improvement before cost effective scaling may be accomplished with certain networked EVSE.
An important consideration is to support an open platform that allows for plug-and-play charging equipment, facilitating competition and innovation in the market. That protects the utility and customers from high costs and proprietary systems that could become obsolete or stranded assets.
And the equivalent for the commercial jobs. In general we see a much larger range that’s site dependent.
So what we are primarily talking about is the model #3 here, where the utility owns and maintains the charger. Between the charger and the meter is customer owned wiring, conduit and the supply panel. For the DC fast chargers, model #4 is used.
Turns out this is much less expensive than some of the other models, and more reliable because the utility is backing up the equipment operation. The EV customer gets value from a product and service they can trust at lower cost and lower risk. In exchange, they allow us to manage the loads without further incentives or compensation. Other grid customers see value from that, and indirectly from the local economic and environmental benefits.
Transportation electrification is about a better energy future with less expensive, cleaner, safer, and more sustainable transportation options. The utility can play a key role, and central to all this is our customer focus – how can we better serve our customers and communities in the years ahead?
The future looks very bright!
More background in case of comments/questions:
How can the utility better serve customers in this emerging sector? How to best integrate electrified transportation with the utility grid and future micro-grids? How might the utility accelerate this improved energy future?
These are all questions we are actively exploring – operational business models, grid impacts and integrative technologies that are emerging, discovering and validating regulated and unregulated business opportunities; developing operational capabilities to effectively scale with the market as it develops.
Workplace Charging, EV Adoption & Employee Engagement, Rendall Farley
Workplace Charging, EV Adoption
& Employee Engagement
Rendall Farley, P.E.
Forth Utility Working Group Webinar
May 7th, 2019
We improve our customers’
lives through innovative energy
Better Energy for Life!
– less than $1/gal equivalent
– 80% reduction in GHG emissions
• Performance & Customer Satisfaction
• Energy Security
• Beneficial Utility Revenue
& Grid Asset Utilization
Workplace Charging at Mission Campus
• ~ 40 commuters, 3 fleet vehicles
• 18 chargers in back
• 2 chargers in front (1 visitor only)
• High utilization, employees moving vehicles
• Average commute ~ 25 miles roundtrip
• Longest commute 280 miles roundtrip
• Average charging session 9 kWh
• Largest charging session 46 kWh
• Add two more chargers out back
• Confirm garage charger install details for
early 2020: 30 chargers, 100+ capacity
• Data & Load Management
• Point of Use Payments
Capital $2,415 $72,450
Annual O&M $513 $15,390
Max Power 7.2 kW 216 kW
Electric Bill $20/month $600/month
Net User Fuel
• Lower costs
• More reliable
• More convenient
• More user savings
• More service capacity
Capital $395 $11,850
Annual O&M $11 $330
Max Power 3.3 kW 216 kW
Electric Bill $25/month $750/month
Net User Fuel