DER-Grid Edge, Electric Vehicles

New York Power Authority to make Fairport, N.Y. an EV test bed

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) designated Fairport, N.Y. as its first Evolve NY Electric Vehicle Accelerator Community.

The designation signifies a partnership between NYPA and the Village of Fairport in Monroe County in the Finger Lakes region to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and optimally integrate EVs into the village’s infrastructure, community and culture.

The aim of the project is to both support Fairport’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its community and to be a first-mover green community example of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the governor’s clean energy and jobs agenda announced in January 2019 that puts New York on a path to carbon neutrality.

The initiative is planned to last five years and in the first year will deliver the following:

• In collaboration with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the installation of 50 home charging stations to encourage EV adoption and better understand how managed charging can help consumers and the local electric utility manage costs
• In collaboration with NYSERDA, the implementation of 28 public chargers that can be used by members of the community and visitors
• Through the EVolve NY program, the installation of Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) at one central location to support rapid charging of personal and ride share vehicles
• A comprehensive community engagement and education program spanning ride and drive opportunities, charger demonstrations, outreach through schools, forums for public comments, and engagement with local business and community leaders.

“Through innovative programs like this Evolve NY EV Accelerator Community designation, we are proving that New Yorkers can set the bar for driving carbon-free and making a more environmentally sound lifestyle a reality,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “This designation of Fairport sets an example statewide for how to stimulate a cultural change and encourage drivers to consider the many benefits of driving an EV. The initiative ties in perfectly with our investment in expanding the fast-charging network across New York State and will demonstrate how EVs can be fully integrated into a community.”

Through community engagement and investments in charging infrastructure, the Evolve NY EV Accelerator Community initiative will demonstrate how EVs can be seamlessly integrated into people’s daily lives, making EVs the “easy choice.” The program aims to achieve 100 percent EV awareness amongst community residents. Lessons learned in Fairport will be shared with other communities statewide as a blueprint for catalyzing EV adoption at scale.

This community initiative will focus on accelerating EV adoption in Fairport in three key ways:

• Improve community perception about EVs through education and engagement efforts, leading to more widespread adoption of electric vehicles and electrification of transportation in the village
• Build a critical mass of electric vehicle usage in a concentrated location in order to learn how to optimally integrate alternative forms of transportation into both the electric grid and daily community life
• Establish partnerships and investments with the private sector to support innovation and the affordable and seamless adoption of electric vehicles.

Key outcomes that the program will be tracking to monitor success include:
• greenhouse gas emissions reductions
• use of public charging infrastructure
• an increased percentage of miles traveled in the community in low emission vehicles
• an increased level of awareness about EVs and their benefits, cleanliness of power supply, cost of power supply, and extent of EV adoption in Fairport and surrounding communities.

Fairport, a community of around 2,370 households which already has 14 electric vehicles in its municipal fleet, was selected for the program due to its heightened interest in driving clean, and because the village already receives low-cost hydropower from NYPA through its municipal electric partner, Fairport Electric. This makes electrifying the transportation sector in the village attractive because the electricity for driving will be lower priced, and already comes from clean hydropower.