EEI Energy Talk  
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December 2021

Top Story
Top Story
National EV Charging Network Accelerates Electric Transportation
Investing in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and accelerating electric transportation benefits customers, the environment, and the energy grid. Electrifying the transportation sector further leverages the impressive emissions reductions achieved by EEI’s member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—and provides numerous benefits for customers and communities as well. 

On December 7, EEI announced the launch of the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), which merges the Electric Highway Coalition and the Midwest Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Collaboration and now includes additional participating electric companies from across the country. 

Currently consisting of 51 investor-owned electric companies, one electric cooperative, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, the coalition is committed to providing EV fast charging ports that will allow the public to drive EVs with greater confidence along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023.

“EEI and our member companies are leading the clean energy transformation, and electric transportation is key to reducing carbon emissions across our economy,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “With the formation of the NEHC, we are committed to investing in and providing the charging infrastructure necessary to facilitate electric vehicle growth and to helping alleviate any remaining customer range anxiety.”

Learn more about the NEHC in the latest issue of Energy Talk In Depth. Read EEI’s press release and visit the NEHC website to learn more.

Policy Perspectives
Policy Perspectives
With Rapid EV Growth Expected, Electric Companies Are Leading the Effort to Electrify Transportation
“More than 2 million EVs are on U.S. roads today. And we project that number could grow to as many as 22 million within a decade,” EEI President Tom Kuhn writes in an op-ed on RealClearEnergy. “While this is great news for customers, communities, and the environment, we must do more now to build the infrastructure needed to meet the moment.”

“The stakes are especially high, given that reducing emissions in the transportation sector is essential to any effort to reduce emissions economy-wide,” Kuhn added. “Today, the biggest barrier to EV adoption is not a lack of EVs. It is lack of access to charging infrastructure from coast-to-coast. Our estimates show that more than 10 times the current number of public EV fast charging ports are needed to support the projected growth in EVs in the United States.”

In Case You Missed It
In Case You Missed It
Investing in a Clean, Resilient Energy Future
EEI’s member companies are making significant investments to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure. They must raise capital in a way that helps keep electricity affordable. Rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and other challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have a real impact on companies and their customers. 

This fall, Electric Perspectives sat down with three electric company chief financial officers to discuss these issues. Participants were Daniel J. Cregg, executive vice president and CFO, Public Service Enterprise Group; Xia Liu, executive vice president and CFO and Office of the Chair member, WEC Energy Group; and Steve Young, executive vice president and CFO, Duke Energy.

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Tune In
Tune In
Working Together to Bridge the Digital Divide
The sudden shift to working and learning from home during the pandemic highlighted the value of electricity, as well as the importance of affordable, reliable broadband. Millions of Americans are living in a digital divide, with limited or no access to reliable internet. Electric companies are well-positioned to help address the challenge of broadband inequity and are working to identify opportunities to leverage their fiber investments to provide middle-mile broadband infrastructure, in partnership with telecommunications companies and last-mile internet providers. This is a win for all stakeholders, particularly customers and communities in underserved and unserved areas.

In the latest edition of the Electric Perspectives Podcast, hear from Alan Bradshaw, vice president of strategic partnerships for Dominion Energy, who highlighted Dominion Energy’s projects and partnerships to expand broadband access to customers, and Mississippi Public Service Commission Commissioner Brandon Presley, who discussed broadband policy and national efforts to bridge the digital divide.

Inside EEI
Inside EEI
Nominations Open for 2022 Edison Award
EEI now is accepting nominations for the 2022 Edison Award, which honors distinguished leadership, innovation, and contributions to the advancement of the electric power industry. The Edison Award is EEI’s most prestigious honor.

The AES Corporation and Edison International/Southern California Edison were selected as the recipients of the 2021 Edison Award. The AES Corporation was selected for its Alamitos Battery Energy Storage System, a 400-megawatt-hour stand-alone battery energy storage system in California that is one of the largest battery storage systems in operation in the world today and the first in the United States specifically selected to replace a natural gas peaker plant.

Edison International/Southern California Edison was selected for its innovative suite of programs designed to help accelerate the electrification of the transportation sector. With nearly $2 billion of funding approved in California, the programs support electric vehicle adoption and the installation of more than 50,000 new charging ports throughout its service territory.

In 2021, J-POWER received the International Edison Award for its Osaki CoolGen project, a three-step demonstration pilot designed to establish integrated coal gasification fuel cell combined cycle with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture. Osaki CoolGen Corporation, founded by J-POWER and the Chugoku Electric Power Company, conducted the demonstration of oxygen-blown integrated coal gasification combined cycle with CO2 capture during the project’s second step. 

The deadline for nominations is February 8, 2022. Winners of the 2022 Edison Award will be announced in June.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Clean Hydrogen: Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Electric Companies
“Hydrogen is well-positioned to be a crucial clean energy resource of the carbon-free energy future,” write Christine Vaughan, Daniel Gabaldon, and Robert Zabors in Electric Perspectives. “Since it is storable, energy-dense, and can be produced and used without generating greenhouse gas emissions, hydrogen can help to address difficult-to-decarbonize applications.

“And with its tremendous versatility, allowing energy to be stored and then deployed across multiple sectors, hydrogen has the potential to be an important ‘molecular energy currency’ of the future.”
Sponsored Content
Beneficial Electrification: Lessons From Leading Electric Companies
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Happening Now
Happening Now
EEI Leaders Recognized for Advocacy and Leadership
EEI President Tom Kuhn and EEI Executive Vice President of Public Policy and External Relations Brian Wolff were listed as top lobbyists of 2021 by The Hill in its annual issue that recognizes those who stand out for delivering results in Congress and the Administration. 

“In one of the busiest years on record for the D.C. influence world, these are the people who wielded their connections and knowledge most effectively for their clients,” said The Hill. “The list highlights the broad range of talents needed to achieve success in the industry.”

Separately, EEI Vice President of International Programs Dr. Lawrence E. Jones has been recognized with the 2021 Gen X Award by Leaders in Energy. Leaders in Energy cited Jones’s accomplishments as a “thought leader, patent holder, and award-winning practitioner in the energy field.” 
Photo (L to R): Kuhn, Wolff, Jones.

Looking Back
Looking Back
In 2021, Electric Companies Continued Building a Cleaner, Smarter, Stronger Energy Future
Throughout 2021, as they do every year, EEI’s member companies continued to build a cleaner, smarter, stronger energy future for the customers and communities they proudly serve. And, all year long, Energy Talk and Electric Perspectives documented this profound energy transformation. Following are just a few highlights from our 2021 coverage.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Key to Our Clean Energy Future
    By EEI Vice Chairman Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO, Edison International (Electric Perspectives, September/October 2021)
    “As the electric power industry moves toward a clean energy future, we cannot underestimate the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Everyone who keeps the power flowing—from corporate boards and executive officers to those who work in offices and in the field—must reflect and represent equitably the customers and communities we serve.”
  • COP26: Demonstrating Global Clean Energy Leadership 
    (Energy Talk In Depth November 2021)
    “World leaders convened in Glasgow, Scotland, to kick off the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, six years after the Paris Agreement established a global framework to tackle climate change. Executives from EEI member companies—America's investor-owned electric companies—joined the U.S. delegation and environmental leaders to highlight the leadership of U.S. electric companies in reducing carbon emissions and the vital role that reliable, affordable, secure, and resilient clean energy plays in achieving net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy.” (Stay tuned for an in-depth look at COP26 in the next issue of Electric Perspectives.)
  • Remembrance, Respect, Service, and Sacrifice: Reflections on 9/11
    (Electric Perspectives, September/October 2021)
    Twenty years later, the events of 9/11 are still fresh in the minds of electric power industry leaders. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, electric companies and their workers played a critical role in helping restore normalcy and hope—and the lessons learned continue to strengthen the industry’s culture of resilience, safety, and service.
  • Highlights From EEI 2021
    (Electric Perspectives, July/August 2021)
    EEI 2021 offered a guided tour of how EEI’s member companies are driving innovation that benefits customers and the nation as they lead the clean energy transformation. EEI 2021—a virtual assembly of top industry executives, thought leaders, policymakers, and technology innovators, held June 8-10—fostered enlightening discussions on EEI member companies’ unique value proposition: leading the pathway to a clean energy future and advancing racial and social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, all while investing in smarter energy infrastructure that is delivering the energy solutions our customers want and expect.
  • Building a Stronger Energy Future for Customers
    (Energy Talk In Depth, March 2021)
    Electric companies have decades of experience and responsibility building, owning, operating, protecting, and restoring the energy grid, while serving as critical infrastructure providers, national security partners, and first responders. And, as electric companies increasingly invest in adaptation, hardening, and resilience, EEI is working to implement supportive public policies and to reinforce the value of these investments for customers and communities.
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