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USA: NRG Settlement Far From Settled

proposed settlement to make amends for energy price-fixing during the Enron era is causing shockwaves around California’s electric vehicle charging industry. The settlement between the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) and NRG Energy, which was announced on March 23, would require the energy company to spend $100 million on building out EV infrastructure and pay $20 million in cash to the CPUC.

The settlement is based on energy market manipulations committed more than a decade ago by Dynegy Inc., which at the time was a co-owner, along with NRG, of a portfolio of power generating plants that NRG later acquired in full.

More than half of the infrastructure investment would go towards installing 200 commercial EV charging stations. NRG would install the stations in the San Francisco Bay area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County, all areas expected to see significant penetration of EVs during the coming years.

The DC charging stations, which enable battery electric vehicles to fully charge their batteries in 15 minutes or less, would be owned and operated by NRG, which would receive all of the revenue derived from their usage. An obvious question is, How does opening up retail locations to distribute one’s services and generate revenue constitute reparations? This is akin to a petroleum company being ordered to open up more gas stations because they were overcharging customers


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