Electrify America recently unveiled its first application of a megawatt-level battery energy storage system (BESS) for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
The move builds upon the company’s existing BESS installations at over 150 stations across the U.S., including more than 100 installations in California.
The megawatt-level energy storage system combined with a solar canopy goes a step further than Electrify America’s existing BESS in managing energy costs and reducing stress on the grid by acting as a buffer to supplement power to charging stations when local utilities limit the amount of power a station can draw from the grid, it said.
“This application leverages energy storage and solar as a ‘non-wires alternative’ in lieu of relying on additional utility ‘wired’ infrastructure (i.e. power lines) that may not be feasible,” Electrify America said.
Such innovative approaches become critical to expand EV charging into more remote areas to reach more consumers where utilities may not be able to deliver the capacity needed to install or expand charging infrastructure, it added.
Electrify America selected the Baker station in California for the first deployment of the megawatt-level energy storage system because of its remote location and its utility capacity constraints. The project involves the integration of roughly 1.5 MW/3 MWh energy storage system with 66 kW of generation potential from the solar canopy.
The energy storage deployment builds upon Electrify America’s previous announcement of having surpassed over 30 megawatts of installed energy storage now featured at over 150 locations.
In California, over 50 charging stations coupled with energy storage constitute the largest operating Virtual Power Plant (VPP) of its kind shifting the use of on-peak energy to lower carbon intensity off-peak hours in the California Independent System Operator’s wholesale energy market.
Electrify America, a subsidiary of Volkswagen of America, is the largest open DC fast charging network in the U.S.