Central Maine Power offers grants for electric vehicles to study usage and smart grid

A grant program offered by Central Maine Power is targeting organizations who will make big use of an electric vehicle, and report usage and smart grid information back to the utility.

On Tuesday, Central Maine Power announced a new grant program offering incentives to purchase electric vehicles to organizations share a commitment to the environment, and will maximize use of an electric vehicle. The Plug-In Electric Vehicle Grant Program will offer up to $15,000 to selected organizations for lease or purchase of eligible electric vehicles.

A limited number of grants are available. Organizations must be located within CMP's service territory. Eligible vehicles must be either plug-in hybrids, or all electric vehicles, and must be commercially available.

Grantees must also collect data on usage showing how the vehicle is used over a two-year period. This last point suggests CMP is interested in collecting usage data to predict future demand on electrical system requirements to support electrified vehicles. They are also specifically interested in "applicants that have plans to evaluate the use of electric vehicles as an option to store off-peak energy for use during peak periods and/or for frequency or voltage support." That shows an interest in smart grid technologies.

“We’re looking for organizations that share CMP’s strong commitment to the environment, will maximize road time for the vehicles, and record this important data,” said Adam Cutter, who is managing the utility’s grant program. “We also hope to see a broad range of electric vehicle models to help us get a thorough evaluation of the options that are available in today’s market. Our program is designed to encourage the use of hybrid and electric cars in Maine. It’s also a chance to promote the storage of renewable and other energy generated off-peak to replace fuels with greater climate impacts.”

CMP is a subsidiary of a large electrical utility conglomerate, Iberdrola USA, that owns several utilities in Maine and New York.

CMP will hold an informational session for prospective participants at its corporate headquarters at 83 Edison Drive in Augusta on Wednesday, August 7, starting at 10 a.m. Applications to join the program and information about the program are available at cmpco.com/electricvehicles.


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