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ReVision Energy hopes to plug into CMP electric vehicle grants

A month after unveiling an electric vehicle charging station at its shop on Presumpscot Street, local renewable energy firm ReVision Energy is looking to tap into an unusual grant program through Central Maine Power that’s aimed at encouraging electric vehicles.
At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, CMP is scheduled to meet with the Maine Public Utilities Commission for a workshop on CMP’s proposed Electric Vehicle Pilot Project. Phil Coupe, one of the founders of ReVision Energy of New England, said he hopes to attend and learn more about the grant program.
“We think there’s a pretty big opportunity for Maine to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel-generated energy, and electric vehicles represent one of those opportunities,” Coupe said. “Right now, 50 percent of Maine’s C02 emissions come from transportation, and since Maine has the highest per capita CO2 emissions in New England, we think that attacking that problem on all fronts is worthwhile.”
A stipulation in the Maine PUC’s “Power Reliability Program” docket requires that the Maine Power Reliability Program through CMP “include a process for pilot projects to facilitate the increased use of hybrid and electric cars in Maine, and to promote the storage of renewable and other energy generated off-peak to replace fuels with greater climate impacts. At least three pilot projects to facilitate the increased use of hybrid and electric cars shall be brought to the commission for review and approval by the end of 2012.”
An official with the Maine PUC said the pilot project — a stipulation of the PUC’s approval of a $1.4 billion upgrade to CMP transmission lines — marks the first time that the issue of electric vehicles has been addressed by the regulator.
The specific pilot project on the agenda for the Sept. 5 meeting at PUC headquarters aims to to help organizations, particularly nonprofits, get electric vehicle charging stations and electric vehicles. Coupe said it’s one of the few organized government efforts to encourage electric cars.
“I’m hoping that CMP’s pilot project can help get the idea off the ground, so to speak. We’re trying to push that ball forward with our own investments here at ReVision Energy,” he said.
The program aims to award 10 cash grants of up to $15,000 each to 10 selected organizations located in CMP’s service territory for supporting the lease or purchase of electric vehicles. ReVision Energy petitioned to intervene in the CMP case as a way to get a foot in the door.
Unrelated to the CMP case, on July 26, ReVision Energy officially unveiled an electric vehicle charging station to the public at the company’s Portland site. The event featured a trio of Chevy Volts — one owned by ReVision Energy, another from sister company ReVision Heat, and a fleet vehicle from Central Maine Power. Close to 100 people attended.
More portlanddailysun.com

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