- California regulators on Thursday approved San Diego Gas & Electric's plan to support electrification of large vehicles and industrial equipment, clearing the way for more than $100 million to be invested in the next five years.
- The California Public Utilities Commission signed off on a settlement authorizing SDG&E to support development of charging infrastructure for a minimum of 3,000 plug-in medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. The utility's service territory is home to more than 100,000 large commercial vehicles.
- The plan calls for SDG&E to develop at least 300 make-ready charging installations. The approval also includes $1.7 million for a vehicle to grid (V2G) pilot that will connect 10 electrified school buses with the California ISO's energy market.
The "vast majority" of charging infrastructure in San Diego and southern Orange County is designed for passenger vehicles, according to SDG&E. Thursday's approval will help support regional and statewide pollution goals by also helping businesses and public agencies transition to electric.
"Our region is headed to a new phase of the clean transportation movement," Estela de Llanos, SDG&E's vice president of clean transportation, sustainability and chief environmental officer, said in a statement.
The utility says its new program will be the "first large-scale program of its kind in the region." There are more than 103,000 commercial vehicles, Class 2 through Class 8, operating in SDG&E's territory, including trucks that operate around congested ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border and the Port of San Diego.
California's transportation sector accounts for more than 40% of all greenhouse gases in the state, according to the California Air Resources Board. The state is aiming to reduce GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
SDG&E's school bus pilot program will test the ability to use electric vehicles as a distributed energy resource to improve the utility's load factor and reduce local air pollution. V2G-enabled school buses will participate in the CAISO energy market utilizing 25 kW (discharging) V2G bi-directional chargers.
The settlement included SDG&E along with the Public Advocates Office at the CPUC, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Union of Concerned Scientists, and others.
"Switching out our gas-guzzling trucks, buses and delivery vehicles with cleaner, zero emissions vehicles is one of the most transformative things we can do to stabilize the climate and improve San Diego’s air quality," EDF Senior Attorney Larissa Koehler said in a statement. "This is exactly the kind of investment utilities across the country should be making."