Utility board rejects Nova Scotia Power’s $500k proposal to buy electric vehicle charging stations

Angie Vorhies plugs in the charging cord to her Nissan Leaf electric vehicle at a mall Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in San Diego.
Angie Vorhies plugs in the charging cord to her Nissan Leaf electric vehicle at a mall Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in San Diego. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Nova Scotia’s energy regulator has rejected a proposal by Nova Scotia Power (NS Power) to purchase and install 12 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the province.

Intended to serve as a pilot project so NS Power could understand how fast charging stations might affect the province’s electrical system, The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NS UARB) ruled that the purchase wouldn’t be in the best interest of the power company’s ratepayers.

The decision was released on Thursday by the NS UARB.

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According to the NS Power, the province has lagged behind its neighbours — specifically, NewBrunswick — in adopting electric vehicle technology, and the project would’ve served as a “start-up” network.

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But the utility board questioned whether a sufficient number of the province’s ratepayers would benefit from the purchase of the expensive stations.

Instead, the board pointed to the United States as a model to emulate.

According to the board’s findings, there are currently 6,000 models in the U.S., with most being privately owned, raising questions whether NS Power had to actually purchase the machines to be able to study the effects on Nova Scotia’s electrical system.

“[NS Power] may wish to work with the owners/operators of the [electric vehicle] charging stations to gather whatever additional data the Company deems is needed,” wrote the board in its decision.

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A glimpse at a possible charging network

Although the plan won’t come to fruition in its current form, it does give some guidance on what a future charging network might look like in Nova Scotia.

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According to the board’s ruling, the plan was to install the charging stations along Nova Scotia’s major highways, roughly 65 kilometres apart.

They would’ve been placed on land owned by a third-party owner, with no cost to the site’s owner.

Those who used the stations would pay a $2.50 fee per 15 minutes of charging.

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