Two WEC Energy Group subsidiaries are seeking approval from regulators of pilot programs that would add $50 million in electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state over the next five years.
Wisconsin Electric Power Co. and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., which generally serve the southern and northern portions of the eastern half of the state respectively, based their proposals on a similar pilot the state Public Service Commission approved this summer for Northern States Power Wisconsin.
“The EV pilot programs are part of our commitment to help reduce emissions and create a cleaner energy future. If approved, these programs will support the goals of Governor Evers Climate Task Force to cut emissions and increase transportation electrification,” Brendan Conway, a spokesman for WEC Energy Group, said in an email. “It’s important to note customers participating in the pilots will cover the costs of these programs.”
The utilities would install EV charging equipment for residential and commercial customers and then offer specific time of use rates for the charging of vehicles. The customers would cover the cost of the equipment, either upfront or through slightly higher monthly payments. Non-participating customers would not fund the program, according to the application.
The Wisconsin Electric proposal calls for charging units to be installed with 7,500 residential customers and the commercial program would be capped at 100 MW of new load for the system.
Wisconsin Electric is also seeking PSC feedback on several ideas to expand access to electric vehicles for lower income customers and underserved areas of its service area.
“While the increased availability and popularity of EVs and their great potential to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions are exciting developments, Wisconsin Electric recognizes that these new technologies and their benefits are not equally available to all customers, primarily because of their currently high cost,” the application says.
The ideas include investing in charging infrastructure for municipal fleets and public transit, developing EV charging hubs, utility-funded rebates to promote EV investments and using earnings sharing funds that would otherwise be returned to customers to fund