NRG Energy, whose $122.5 million agreement to build a so-called "Electric Expressway" of electric-vehicle charging stations spurred a lawsuit against the state of California by smaller competitor Ecotality, says the agreement will produce about 80 percent more economic activity that it costs and that it doesn't hinder competition.

The agreement, in which $102.5 million will be paid to NRG to build the charging stations and $20 million will be provided to state residents in the form of ratepayer refunds, will spur more than $185 million in economic activity and will create more than 1,500 jobs throughout the most populous U.S. state, NRG said, citing a study it commissioned to be written by Solution Mountain.

The company, in a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), also said that "any industry participant remains free to compete for every potential EV charging site in California, and nothing in the Settlement Agreement restrains that competition."

NRG is planning to build at least 200 so-called Freedom Station EV chargers that will be able to deploy electricity at a rate fast enough to provide an EV with 50 miles of electric driving in as little as 15 minutes.
Show full PR text
NRG INVESTMENT IN CALIFORNIA EV CHARGING STATIONS TO CREATE MORE THAN 1,500 LOCAL JOBS

--Benefits to California to flow once agreement is finalized--

PRINCETON, N.J., May 29, 2012--The planned $102.5 million investment by NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in California will create more than 1,500 jobs in the Los Angeles Basin, San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and San Diego County regions, according to a study by Solution Mountain commissioned by NRG.

The study found that NRG's initial $102.5 million investment will create a gross output of more than $185 million when the employment and procurement of goods and services are factored together, equating to an additional $83.3 million in indirect economic activity by 2016.
Click here to download a PDF of the full report.

"We are excited to be both helping to build out the California EV infrastructure, which will help give range confidence to EV drivers, while also contributing to the California economy through job creation and infrastructure spending," said Terry O'Day, NRG Director of California Business Development. "Our commitment to California through this investment will directly benefit consumers, as well as other businesses that will be able to grow due to a more robust EV infrastructure and the greater EV adoption it will help create."

The more than 1,500 jobs created by build-out of the EV Freedom Station and make ready sites will be spread across numerous sectors, including charger station technology, station construction, and specialized design, advertising and marketing services.

NRG will build a minimum of 200 Freedom Station sites as part of the project, installations that include DC chargers that can deliver 50 miles of charge in as little as 15 minutes. The Company will also build a minimum of 10,000 "make-readies" - parking spaces retrofitted to with the wiring necessary to host future EV charging at locations such as multifamily buildings, workplaces and universities, hospitals and other civic sties.

"This study helps show additional benefits of this infrastructure to California," said O'Day. "Pending Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of the agreement, we will be able to release more project details, including the locations of the first Freedom Station sites and make ready installations."

Solution Mountain used the industry-accepted IMPLAN model to evaluate the economic and job-creation benefits of investment. The full report can be found at here.

About Solution Mountain, Inc
Since 2003, the principals of Solution Mountain, Inc. have prepared hundreds of economic impact reports for state agencies, cities, counties, economic development districts and private corporations. Each report is based on IMPLAN data sets specific to the project's location and unique industry sectors. Solution Mountain, Inc. is a technology partner for the California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED). Robert Gilmore, CEO of Solution Mountain is the recipient of the Ford Foundation's Award for Innovations in American Government and the Council of State Government's Award for Innovation.

About NRG
NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A Fortune 500 company, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for our customers: whether as one of the largest solar power developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy solutions to better manage their energy use. Our diverse power generating facilities can support more than 20 million homes and our retail electricity providers - Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus - serve more than two million customers. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      lne937s
      • 1 Day Ago
      200 more DC CHAdeMO chargers, like the one in the picture, are a welcome addition... However, Nissan is selling DC chargers for ~$10k each, or $2MM for 200. Even if installation doubles the cost, that comes to $4MM. NRG charging $102.5 MM for 200 DC charge stations and 10,000 wired parking spaces seems a little expensive, unless there is something they are not mentioning... If those "make ready" parking spaces are wired with 3-phase, ready for DC quick charging, then it makes more sense.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @lne937s
        Wiring up a parking space will cost what, $1,000 each? 10,000 of those is only $10 million. About $85 million still seems unaccounted for
          LiteNRG1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Forgot labor cost, I've seen them installing a Freedom Station here in Houston area and it take quite alot of labor to install one. Like they had to dig what looked like a 8' w x 10' l x 10' deep hole (est dem.) for the underground hardware for the fast charger plus grid connection, permitting and so on.
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          No way this will only cost $1000 per. First, the charging station itself will cost more than $1000 (that will probably be the cheapest part of this whole thing). What's expensive is the permitting costs, installation costs and labor costs. Permits can be very expensive and time consuming. And the installation isn't like a home charging unit where you just simply wire it up in a day and that's it.
          lne937s
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          LiteNRG1- Read the PDF. $50.5 Million dollars is what they are charging the state of California to install 200 quick chargers. That subscription revenue they charge users is making them additional money on top of the $50MM charged to the state. Considering that they are charging approximately $225,000 more than the ~$25k installed Nissan charger, they could have provided quick charging absolutely free at each charger for 75,000 20KW quick charges at $.15 per kWh... I broke up the link so that the whole thing shows, but put both parts together and it shows the cost break down: https://www.evgonetwork.com/content/documents/ Solution_Mountain_economic_analysis_May_2012.pdf And Nissan Quick Chargers are commercial grade, currently being used for public charging in Europe and Japan. If you want the heated outdoor version, it ends up being slightly more than $10k. http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NEWS/2011/_STORY/111110-03-e.html http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NEWS/2011/_STORY/110912-01-e.html http://www.newsroom.nissan-europe.com/EU/en-gb/Media/Media.aspx?mediaid=92286
          LiteNRG1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ lne937s "So they are charging $50MM for 200 quick chargers... Or $250,000 per charger?" No, there not charging that to the to the people here. Its a subscription based program. How it works, NRG (aka EVgo in houston) builds out the network and people subscribe to EVgo are for 3 years with one of three plans: Home: You pay $49 mo. + electricity cost to lease there level 2 charger at home. Mobile: You pay $79 mo. + electricity cost to lease there level 2 charger at home plus access to there network of level 3 chargers throughout the network. Complete: You pay $89 mo. including home electricity cost plus access to there network of level 3 chargers throughout the network. And no, I dont work for EVgo. This is based on the info here: https://www.evgonetwork.com/Charging_Plans/ BTW, is nissan's DC charger are commercial grade?
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Chris: The $1,000 I referred to was not to install a charger, as they are just wiring up a parking space to make it ready for a charger in those 10,000 parking spaces, not actually putting one in. $1,000 may be low ball, but the total they are claiming the package is worth sounds far too much.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hence the kerfluffle about this deal... It would have been more appropriate if they had actually paid the fine, and then the State had bid out the project. Letting NRG set the price of the equipment they're installing makes it very easy for them to overcharge - effectively reducing the amount they have to pay to settle their judgement.
          lne937s
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          @LiteNRG1 https://www.evgonetwork.com/content/documents/Solution_Mountain_economic_analysis_May_2012.pdf So they are charging $50MM for 200 quick chargers... Or $250,000 per charger? Nissan has been at work enginnering out costs and now sells DC chargers for ~$10,000. They bolt to a slab (drill concrete, epoxy in threaded rods)... no ridiculous installation like you describe. So maybe $20,000 installed with connection to utility. Let's make that $25k for round numbers (maybe pouring a slab for the parking space)... They could install 10 times as many chargers. Nissan is giving away twice as many chargers in Europe as what NRG is charging $50MM for... there is no way it should cost that much. It seems like either the NRG charger design is massively inefficient or they are gouging. It would be better to pay someone else with a better charger a fraction as much to install more DC charging stations.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @DaveMart
          'BTW, is nissan's DC charger are commercial grade?' I'm not sure what you are getting at there. Any charger not in the home has to be commercial grade. Nissan's cheap Level 3 fast charger certainly is, as are it's level 2 for non-domestic use.
      Turbo Froggy
      • 1 Day Ago
      NRG, Please give the finger to EcoTality and get crackalackin installing those DC Fast Charge stations!!! Thank you, Happy Chademo equipped Nissan Leaf Driver.
        Nick Kordich
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Turbo Froggy
        They're going to charge up to $15 for a 50 mile charge. CPUC Commissioner: "This will teach them to price gouge Californians!" California Consumer: "Oh, I'd say they've already got that part down...." https://www.evgonetwork.com/About_Us/NRG_Energy_and_CPUC_Agreement_Resource_Center/Fact_Sheet_NRG_Energy_and_CPUC_Agreement_/
      Spec
      • 1 Day Ago
      Yeah . . . this company ripped off California once, don't them rip us off again with their settlement.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Spec
        NRG Energy didn't rip off anybody. Dynegy was the company was alleged to have ripped off Californians in 2000-2001. NRG Energy bought (now bankrupt) Dynegy's assets in 2006. When NRG Energy bought those assets, they became responsible for Dynegy's legal issues. NRG Energy, though, never ripped off anybody.
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