Growth fuels demand for electricity
Last updated 2/1/2022 at Noon
As The Nugget canvassed builders, developers, and realtors about the issue of long-term drought in Sisters Country, the conversation often turned to electricity needed to meet population growth that shows no sign of abating.
The Nugget reached out to Central Electric Cooperative (CEC), the sole provider of electricity for the area. Spokesman Brent Ten Pas sounded confident when asked specifically about electric vehicle charging. The automotive industry projects that half of all passenger vehicles sold by 2030 — just eight short years from now — will be battery powered. Charging those batteries is a major drain on the power grid.
Can CEC meet the demand? The answer: “Central Electric is well-positioned to meet the future electricity demand for electric vehicle growth in the Sisters area. Over the last decade, CEC upgraded transmission lines and substations to increase capacity to deliver electricity to members in the Sisters area for decades to come. We are excited that the nearly 96-percent carbon-free energy we provide to our members will power these future EVs (electric vehicles).”
Does CEC’s strategic long-term planning further anticipate the increase in demand? Ten Pas said: “Yes. CEC is one of the fastest-growing cooperatives in the country and continues to meet the rapid current and future growth in its service territory, including electricity to charge electric vehicles. Not only have we been actively planning for EV growth, but we are also encouraging it.”
CEC recently rolled out its EV rebate program, which incentivizes EV owners to register their vehicle with CEC by offering rebates for members to install Level 2 chargers. (See The Nugget, January 12, “Charging up in Sisters to get easier.”)