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June 29, 2022 CMC

Latest California Mobility Center Alliance Focuses Collaboration on National Electric System Reliability and Rising EV Charging Loads

CMC, NERC and WECC sign MOU

Sacramento, CA – June 29, 2022: The California Mobility Center (CMC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) strengthened their partnership in the pursuit of electric reliability. The three entities recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and have formed a working group to help identify and mitigate the potential risks to the Bulk Power System as a result of the rising deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging loads across the country. Early participation in the CMC’s working group includes experts from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Southern California EdisonAMPLY PowerAlectra UtilitiesE-Source and other CMC members, as well as General Motors and other EV stakeholders.

“Electricity consumption by plug-in electric vehicles across North America will grow exponentially over the next decade,” said CMC Board Chair Arlen Orchard—and former CEO and general manager of SMUD, the nation’s 6th largest publicly-owned utility. “The rapid rate of growth poses significant implications to electric system reliability if left unaddressed. This significant collaboration will support electric system reliability and importantly, a successful transition to mass electric vehicle adoption.”

North America is intensifying its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase transportation system electrification across consumer, public agency and commercial sectors. As part of this effort, working group participants will use their specific knowledge and vast networks to strengthen the collective impact. The goal of this collaboration is to increase information sharing and knowledge among the growing EV equipment, software and services system, the electricity industry and other stakeholders about reliability risks and mitigation strategies.

The formation of the working group follows a CMC webinar on the topic in March in which experts from NERC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), and WECC participated. “Joe Eto from Berkeley Lab, Ryan Quint from NERC, and Branden Sudduth from WECC are providing outstanding support and guidance to the working group,” said Orchard. “Their collective knowledge and research in this area is a tremendous asset in framing the electric system reliability landscape and focus for the EV industry.”  

“Electrification of the transportation sector will be a rapidly growing component of demand in the coming decades,” said Jim Robb, NERC president and chief executive officer. “The North American grid must adapt and prepare for these changes and this type of cross-sector collaboration, and innovation is critical if we are all to be successful. NERC is committed to working with stakeholders to unify our efforts in these areas and this is a great example of us working with others in the ecosystem to advance our shared reliability goals.”

Melanie Frye, president and CEO of WECC stated, “The West is at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to decarbonize the grid and electrify the transportation sector. The collective and interdependent impact of these actions will significantly alter energy usage profiles in a way that could substantially affect the reliability of the Bulk Power System. Bringing together grid reliability experts with vehicle manufacturers creates an opportunity to proactively address the range of reliability implications.”

“This is precisely the type of inter-industry collaboration the CMC seeks to foster,” said Orchard.

Participation in the working group is free of charge. For information about the CMC’s working group, or to inquire about joining the group, contact Mike Walker at Mike.Walker@camobilitycenter.org.


Media Contacts:
California Mobility Center: Christine Ault, christine@christineault.com, 916-803-1413
NERC: Communications@nerc.net
WECC: Julie Booth, jbooth@wecc.org, 801-819-7615

About the California Mobility Center (CMC): The CMC is a nonprofit, public-private entity providing future mobility innovators and industry incumbents access to programs and resources that accelerate the pace of commercialization worldwide and aspires to be the leading innovation center for global mobility success. The CMC was founded by industry thought leaders in clean technology including California State University, SacramentoEnerTech CapitalPEM MotionSMUD and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC). The CMC is strategically located in Sacramento, CA. Its location puts the CMC in close proximity to California government, which leads the United States and the world in producing policies around green mobility and technology.  

About the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC): The vision for the Electric Reliability Organization Enterprise, which is comprised of NERC and the six Regional Entities, is a highly reliable and secure North American bulk power system. Our mission is to assure the effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the grid.

About the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC): WECC is a not-for-profit corporation that was formed to assure BPS reliability in an area known as the Western Interconnection, which includes California and 13 other western states, two Canadian Provinces and Northern Baja Mexico WECC’s mission is to effectively and efficiently mitigate risks to the reliability and security of the Western Interconnection’s bulk power system. 

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