GRE doubles joins nationwide electric vehicle initiative

Courtesy: Great River Energy (GRE)

A collaborative of 500 utilities, vehicle manufacturers, charging providers, federal agencies, and other organizations are working to align themselves on important issues ahead of the rapid deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) on U.S. roadways.

Great River Energy is one of the founding utility partners of EVs2Scale, a three-year initiative led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and will add an electric cooperative voice to discussions among critical stakeholders as EV goals increasingly target 50% market share by 2030.

A report released earlier this year by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation notes a dramatic increase in demand to support this growth of EVs “will challenge the electric power system in many ways.” EPRI estimates there will be about 40 million EVs and trucks on the nation’s roads by 2030.

This presents several challenges for utilities and system operators as they prepare all the services needed to support this transition—including charger installations and grid interconnections for consumers/fleets—while maintaining the highest level of reliability and resilience on the grid.

EVs2Scale was designed to address these challenges and, in doing so, contribute key new learnings such as: costs, lead times and workforce requirements to support 2030 goals; electric transportation programs for underserved communities; and requirements to operate and maintain highly reliable public EV chargers.

“By participating in this initiative, Great River Energy can contribute a cooperative utility perspective that keeps rural communities—like those served by our 27 member-owner cooperatives—in the conversation as these topics are addressed,” said Rodney DeFouw, member electrification strategist at Great River Energy.

Through its three-year approach, EVs2Scale intends to create the following outcomes:

  • Validated data and best practices to share with member-owner cooperatives, regulators and other stakeholders to describe grid needs for EVs at scale and be better equipped to execute planning for wide-scale electrification with critical stakeholders.
  • Better support for EV drivers, fleet operators and underserved communities enabled by programs developed using the initiative’s research and knowledge.
  • Improved carbon reduction, air quality and human health while also being cost-effective, equitable and just in the transition.

The initiative was recently highlighted by the White House as part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda to spur domestic manufacturing, strengthen supply chains, boost U.S. competitiveness and create good-paying jobs. EVs2Scale was recognized for its mission to accelerate the EV transition.