NS Power installing electric vehicle charging network without ratepayer funding

Nova Scotia Power has announced it is moving ahead with plans to install the province's first electric vehicle fast-charging network. Nova Scotia Power

Nova Scotia Power is moving ahead with installing electric vehicle fast chargers, even though the province’s energy regulator rejected the utility’s proposal to fund the project through ratepayers.

The utility has announced it will install a network of 12 Level 3 fast chargers from Yarmouth to Sydney this spring.

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

They say the chargers will be able to power up an electric vehicle in 15 to 30 minutes. NS Power says the pilot project will also help them study the effects of electric vehicle fast chargers on the power system.

“We’re excited to move forward with installing this network. It’s absolutely a step in the right direction for our province and strongly aligns with our commitment to a sustainable, low-carbon future,” said NS Power president and CEO Karen Hutt in a news release.

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“As we transition to cleaner energy, we’re also focused on enabling innovative solutions like this for our customers that meet today’s needs and those of future generations.”

In January, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) ruled the purchase wouldn’t be in the best interest of the power company’s ratepayers.

“The project cost is not being financed through rates,” said NS Power spokesperson Tiffany Chase on Tuesday. “We’ve decided to proceed with the investment outside of rates.”

NS Power says the project announced on Tuesday will cost about $1 million and that they are receiving some federal funding through Natural Resources Canada.

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As well, the province of Nova Scotia plans to install 12 Level 2 chargers at the same locations. Those chargers will be for plug-in hybrid vehicles that can’t use Level 3 chargers.

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According to NS Power, charging rates will be $15 per hour for Level 3 and $1.50 per hour for Level 2.

The utility says the most recent statistics show there are currently 130 electric vehicles registered in the province.

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A request for proposals was issued to pick locations for the fast chargers last summer. Chase says the utility has chosen the locations and will be revealing them next month.

New Brunswick already has an electric vehicle charging network, which was announced in July 2017.

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