Pilot Program Approved to Expand Electric Car Charger Installation in U.P.

Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO) will see more electric car chargers installed after the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved tariff changes and a new accounting process in their first Upper Peninsula utility vehicle electrification effort Thursday.

The Michigan Public Service Commission says the approval will allow UPPCO customers, including municipalities and nonprofits, to access funding to help cover the costs of installing electric car chargers. This includes $110 million for electric car charging infrastructure Michigan is receiving through the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act.

The order will also allow UPPCO to create a regulatory asset of up to $750,000 for about three years to support contributions towards electric car chargers that customers can install with financial assistance from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) charger grant program. Under this program, EGLE funds one-third of a charger’s costs and utilities while customers pay a third.

Additionally, the order from the MPSC approves UPPCO’s request to change their general service tariff to allow for expanded application that permits customers to take electric service through a demand waiver through Jan. 1, 2027. After that time, UPPCO would group electric car chargers with a dedicated service that has similar usage type customers for future ratemaking purposes.

The order also allows for continued funding for transportation electrification, along with further study on how growth in electric cars could impact UPPCO’s electric grid.

According to UPPCO, they will work with their customers to identify potential charger locations to minimize possible distribution network upgrades, and will give the MPSC a yearly report providing information on chargers installed through the pilot program, a map of their locations and how much they are used monthly or seasonally.

To learn more about EGLE’s electric car charger grant program, click here.

For more information about the Michigan Public Service Commission, click here.

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