The Land of 10,000 Lakes is now No. 1 when it comes to cutting electric-vehicle recharging rates. Minnesota has become the first state in the union to require investor-owned utilities to offer consumers discounted rates for EV charging during off-peak hours. You betcha.
Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery
The Minnesota Senate has passed their state's Renewable Energy Standard requiring Minnesota utilities to generate a minimum 25 percent of their electricity renewably by 2025. Xcel Energy is to jump the gun and aim for 30 percent renewable generation by 2020. There is a back door clause however which allows the Public Utilities Commission to modify the standard in relation to a particular utility if it determines that electricity prices will significantly increase or reliability would decrease if
As discussed in URGE² theory, utilising the grid to overcome the supply intermittency of renewable energy sources is a critical step in moving forward towards a green energy future. Californian utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is looking to do just that by combining the overnight charging of EVs via renewable energy with the opportunity for consumers to sell some of the power stored in their vehicles' battery packs back to the grid during the day.
As part of a $2 million joint project of Xcel Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, researchers will study the idea of using wind power to help produce hydrogen. Only small amounts are expected in the beginning but the team will try to set the stage for large, commercial operations in the future. The project is part of Pres. Bush's $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel initiative.