Way back before NRG was making electric DeLoreans and building solar power plants, it co-owned a slew of power facilities in California with Dynegy -- an energy outfit that got caught up in a long-term litigation over some old energy contracts with the state. Long story short, that legal dispute became NRG's problem in 2006, after it acquired Dynegy's majority stake in the partnership -- a problem it's finally resolving by peppering California with 200 fast-charging EV stations. The $120 million settlement promises to create jobs, invest in the state's economy and provide job training for the stations' maintenance and installation crews.

NRG may be shelling out some serious cash, but the deal is still mutually beneficial -- those extra vehicle chargers will be running on its own fee-based eVgo network, after all. Governor Jerry Brown calls the settlement the beginning of a "virtuous circle" that will boost EV sales for the state, which will in turn, provoke investors to expand California's charging infrastructure, which will, of course, sell more cars. In fact, he's banking on it, and has signed an executive order setting targets for EV adoption. If all goes as planned, you'll be looking at a smog free San Francisco skyline by 2050. Won't that be nice?
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NRG Energy, Inc. to Build Unprecedented Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Infrastructure in California

The California Public Utilities Commission and NRG Energy have entered into an agreement where NRG will build a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) charging network in California, investing approximately $100 million over the next four years.

This fee-based charging network will consist of at least 200 publicly available fast-charging stations-installed in the San Francisco Bay area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County-which can add 50 miles of range in less than 15 minutes of charging. Additionally, NRG's EV infrastructure commitment will include the wiring for at least 10,000 individual charging stations located at homes, offices, multifamily communities, schools and hospitals located across the State.

"With this agreement, the people of California will gain a charging infrastructure ready to support their current and future fleet of electric vehicles," said David Crane, NRG's Chief Executive Officer. "And we will be helping the State meet its clean car goals as embodied by its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate."

The agreement, pending approvals and finalization, resolves outstanding litigation arising out of a long-term electricity contract entered into over a decade ago by a subsidiary of Dynegy, Inc., then a co-owner with NRG of the portfolio of power generating plants currently owned by NRG in California. NRG assumed full responsibility for resolving this matter in 2006 when NRG acquired Dynegy's 50% interest in the assets.

"California already leads the way in the development of an alternative energy transportation sector and, with the price of gasoline above $4 per gallon and rising, all Americans need to be giving serious consideration to the increasingly attractive electric vehicle alternative to what former President Bush called 'our national addiction to foreign oil'," continued Crane. "This network will be built with private funds on a sustainable business model that will allow NRG to maintain and grow the network as EV adoption grows."

The agreement calls for a network that will bring:

A minimum of 200 direct current (DC) fast chargers to the state.

A minimum of 10,000 parking spaces retrofitted with wiring necessary to charge EVs at multifamily buildings, large worksites and civic sites such as universities and hospitals.

Training and jobs for the installation and maintenance of these charging stations in California.

Advanced charging services that increase the speed and power of DC fast charging, store electricity to minimize peak-period demand, and enable EV drivers to support electrical grid reliability with needed energy services through vehicle to grid technology enhancement and implementation.

Significant additional investment in California's clean technology economy and hundreds of jobs in construction and EV infrastructure manufacturing, maintenance and management.
Approximately $100 million in infrastructure investment over four years, and $20 million in cash to go to the California Public Utility Commission.

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Governor Brown Announces $120 Million Settlement to Fund Electric Car Charging Stations Across California

Issues Executive Order to Help Bring 1.5 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles Onto California's Roads

GOLETA – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined with the California Public Utilities Commission today to announce a $120 million dollar settlement with NRG Energy Inc. that will fund the construction of a statewide network of charging stations for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including at least 200 public fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state. The settlement stems from California's energy crisis.

The Governor also announced that he has signed an executive order laying the foundation for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California's roadways by 2025.

"This executive order strengthens California's position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles," said Governor Brown, "and the settlement will dramatically expand California's electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

The settlement announced today resolves ten-year-old claims against a subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., then a co-owner with NRG of the portfolio of power generating plants currently owned by NRG in California, for costs of long-term power contracts signed in March 2001. NRG assumed full responsibility for resolving this matter in 2006 when NRG acquired Dynegy's 50% interest in the assets. One hundred million dollars from the settlement will fund the fast-charging stations and the installation of the plug-in units and electrical upgrades, at no cost to taxpayers. The remaining twenty million dollars will be directed to ratepayer relief. For more information on the settlement, please contact the CPUC.

The network of charging stations funded by the settlement will be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County. This new infrastructure network is a breakthrough in encouraging consumer adoption of electric vehicles and will contribute significantly to achieving California's clean car goals.

"The settlement will launch a virtuous circle in which ever more Californians will feel comfortable driving EVs, and growing EV sales will in turn attract ever more investment in charging infrastructure to our state," said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. "It will create jobs in California, help clean our air, and support attainment of our greenhouse gas reduction goals."

Added CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio: "This is a truly creative deal that offers tremendous value for California utility customers. In one stroke it closes out an unfortunate chapter in our history and propels us down the road to a clean transportation future. Through the settlement, EVs will become a viable transportation option for many Californians who do not have the option to have a charging station at their residence."

Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board Chair (CARB), lauded the settlement agreement. "California has the most aggressive clean transportation goals in the nation," said Nichols. "The automakers are already building clean electric cars. This infrastructure infusion will give consumers the confidence to go out and buy them, which is what needs to happen for us to clean our air, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on imported oil."

In January, CARB voted to require the largest automakers to derive 15 percent, or about 1.4 million, of their annual California sales from electric vehicles and other zero or near-zero emissions vehicles by 2025.

The Executive Order issued today by the Governor sets the following targets:

• By 2015, all major cities in California will have adequate infrastructure and be "zero-emission vehicle ready";

• By 2020, the state will have established adequate infrastructure to support 1 million zero-emission vehicles in California;

• By 2025, there will be 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California; and

• By 2050, virtually all personal transportation in the State will be based on zero-emission vehicles, and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector will be reduced by 80 percent below 1990 levels.

AB 32, the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, calls for a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The goal of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 was set by an executive order signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Last year, Governor Brown signed SB X1-2, which directed the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations setting a 33 percent renewable energy target.