This week we saw eight states commit to putting 3.3 million new zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Governors from California, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont signed an agreement on Thursday to adopt numerous measures to accelerate the spread of advanced vehicles. The agreements included upgrading building codes to make for easier installation of EV charging stations and a commitment to include zero emission vehicles in public fleets. The agreement would also support development of other alternative fuel vehicles, including hydrogen fueling stations.
The eight states represent about a quarter of total vehicle sales in the United States, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The New York Times points out that the state coalition is “roughly the same” as a coalition formed in the 1990s to encourage tighter fuel emissions standards, which the federal government eventually adopted.
“I applaud the leadership of these eight states in their collaborative effort to accelerate the adoption of electric and fuel cell vehicles,” said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “These states are established leaders in advanced energy development and deployment, and now they are showing the way toward new options for transportation. For consumers to have real choice in how they power their cars and trucks, the fueling infrastructure for electric and fuel cell vehicles needs to be in place. Thanks to these states, alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles will get a true chance to compete in the marketplace.”
In other news, the Star News reports new advanced energy jobs are being advertised in Wilmington, NC. GE Hitachi Nuclear expects to hire “up to 100 instrumentation and control and electrical engineers,” said Christopher White, GE Hitachi spokesman. GE Hitachi’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) is the technology that has been slated to generate electricity at the North Anna 3 nuclear power plant.
Maryland has inaugurated its first commercial solar microgrid, at the Konterra mixed business and residential development in Laurel. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, Gov. Martin O'Malley, and senior executives from the Konterra, Solar Grid Storage, and Standard Solar were on hand to dedicate the solar-powered microgrid with advanced battery backup. The system, which includes a 1,368 panel PV array with capacity of 402 kW, is an example of advanced energy sources increasing interactivity with the overall grid.
“Energy storage not only provides substantial value to the electric grid, it makes the integration of solar PV and other distributed generation systems reliable, efficient and cost-effective as well,” said Chairman Wellinghoff. “Distributed storage is an important piece of the puzzle as we deploy new resources to generate energy.”
Chairman Wellinghoff also had some news of his own this week. Wellinghoff announced that after his tenure as FERC Chair has ended, he will join Stoel Rives, a large energy law practice headquartered in Portland, OR. The Chairman submitted his resignation letter to President Obama on May 28 of this year, but no nominee has been put before the Senate since Ron Binz withdrew in the face of opposition.
(What could the new FERC chair inherit? Check out the analysis from Advanced Energy Perspectives.)