GOLETA, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined with the California Public Utilities Commission today to announce a $120 million dollar settlement with NRG Energy Inc. that will fund the construction of a statewide network of charging stations for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including at least 200 public fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state. The settlement stems from California’s energy crisis.
The Governor also announced that he has signed an executive order laying the foundation for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California’s roadways by 2025.
“This executive order strengthens California’s position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles,” said Governor Brown, “and the settlement will dramatically expand California’s electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
The settlement announced today resolves ten-year-old claims against a subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., then a co-owner with NRG of the portfolio of power generating plants currently owned by NRG in California, for costs of long-term power contracts signed in March 2001. NRG assumed full responsibility for resolving this matter in 2006 when NRG acquired Dynegy’s 50% interest in the assets. One hundred million dollars from the settlement will fund the fast-charging stations and the installation of the plug-in units and electrical upgrades, at no cost to taxpayers. The remaining twenty million dollars will be directed to ratepayer relief. For more information on the settlement, please contact the CPUC.
The network of charging stations funded by the settlement will be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County. This new infrastructure network is a breakthrough in encouraging consumer adoption of electric vehicles and will contribute significantly to achieving California’s clean car goals.
“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 CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. “It will create jobs in California, help clean our air, and support attainment of our greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
Added CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio: “This is a truly creative deal that offers tremendous value for California utility customers. In one stroke it closes out an unfortunate chapter in our history and propels us down the road to a clean transportation future. Through the settlement, EVs will become a viable transportation option for many Californians who do not have the option to have a charging station at their residence.”
Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board Chair (CARB), lauded the settlement agreement. “California has the most aggressive clean transportation goals in the nation,” said Nichols. “The automakers are already building clean electric cars. This infrastructure infusion will give consumers the confidence to go out and buy them, which is what needs to happen for us to clean our air, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on imported oil.”
In January, CARB voted to require the largest automakers to derive 15 percent, or about 1.4 million, of their annual California sales from electric vehicles and other zero or near-zero emissions vehicles by 2025.
The Executive Order issued today by the Governor sets the following targets:
• By 2015, all major cities in California will have adequate infrastructure and be “zero-emission vehicle ready”;
• By 2020, the state will have established adequate infrastructure to support 1 million zero-emission vehicles in California;
• By 2025, there will be 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California; and
• By 2050, virtually all personal transportation in the State will be based on zero-emission vehicles, and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector will be reduced by 80 percent below 1990 levels.
AB 32, the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, calls for a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The goal of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 was set by an executive order signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Last year, Governor Brown signed SB X1-2, which directed the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations setting a 33 percent renewable energy target.
Copied below is the full text of the Governor’s Executive Order:
WHEREAS California is the nation’s largest market for cars and light-duty trucks; and
WHEREAS the transportation sector is the biggest contributor to California’s greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for approximately 40 percent of these emissions; and
WHEREAS California should encourage the development and success of zero-emission vehicles to protect the environment, stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life in the State; and
WHEREAS California is a leader of technological innovation, including the innovation necessary to produce commercially successful zero-emission vehicles; and
WHEREAS California attracts over half of the nation’s venture capital for clean technology and ranks high among the states in the number of workers and facilities supporting the clean-car industry; and
WHEREAS California is leading the nation in enacting laws and establishing policies and programs that are reducing greenhouse gases, protecting air and water quality, promoting energy diversity and supporting low-carbon alternative fuel technologies; and
WHEREAS zero-emission vehicles provide multiple benefits in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as reducing conventional pollutants, operating quietly and cleanly, allowing home refueling and lowering operating and fuel costs; and
WHEREAS California should support and encourage car manufacturers’ plans to build and sell tens of thousands of zero-emission vehicles in California in the coming years.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of the State of California, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all State entities under my direction and control support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission and other relevant agencies work with the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative and the California Fuel Cell Partnership to establish benchmarks to help achieve by 2015:
• The State’s major metropolitan areas will be able to accommodate zero-emission vehicles, each with infrastructure plans and streamlined permitting; and
• The State’s manufacturing sector will be expanding zero-emission vehicle and component manufacturing; and
• The private sector’s investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure will be growing; and
• The State’s academic and research institutions will be contributing to zero-emission vehicle research, innovation and education.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that these entities establish benchmarks to help achieve by 2020:
• The State’s zero-emission vehicle infrastructure will be able to support up to one million vehicles; and
• The costs of zero-emission vehicles will be competitive with conventional combustion vehicles; and
• Zero-emission vehicles will be accessible to mainstream consumers; and
• There will be widespread use of zero-emission vehicles for public transportation and freight transport; and
• Transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions will be falling as a result of the switch to zero-emission vehicles; and
• Electric vehicle charging will be integrated into the electricity grid; and
• The private sector’s role in the supply chain for zero-emission vehicle component development and manufacturing State will be expanding.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that these entities establish benchmarks to help achieve by 2025:
• Over 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles will be on California roads and their market share will be expanding; and
• Californians will have easy access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure; and
• The zero-emission vehicle industry will be a strong and sustainable part of California’s economy; and
• California’s clean, efficient vehicles will annually displace at least 1.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuels.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that California target for 2050 a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector equaling 80 percent less than 1990 levels.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that California’s state vehicle fleet increase the number of its zero-emission vehicles through the normal course of fleet replacement so that at least 10 percent of fleet purchases of light-duty vehicles be zero-emission by 2015 and at least 25 percent of fleet purchases of light-duty vehicles be zero-emission by 2020. This directive shall not apply to vehicles that have special performance requirements necessary for the protection of the public safety and welfare.
This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 23rd day of March 2012.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State.