Charging network Electrify America has been at the forefront of a new trend: installing battery energy storage systems (BESS) at DC fast charging stations in order to manage energy costs and reduce stress on the grid. Now the company has unveiled its first megawatt-level BESS.
Battery energy storage, with or without local renewable generation (solar panels) acts as a buffer between charging stations and the grid. This can help operators to avoid expensive demand charges imposed by local utilities, and can also make it feasible to deploy fast chargers in more remote areas where adding additional grid capacity is difficult or impossible.
EA installed the megawatt-level BESS, along with a solar canopy, at its station in Baker, California. This site was chosen because of its remote location and utility capacity constraints. The BESS has a capacity of 1.5 MW / 3 MWh, and the solar canopy has a potential capacity of 66 kW. The expansion of the Baker station included the addition of four new individual chargers, bringing the total to twelve, some boasting 350 kW power levels.
“The application of the megawatt-level energy storage is the latest example of how we are continuously innovating to tackle infrastructure challenges and meet charging needs today,” said Jigar Shah, Head of Energy Services at Electrify America. “As we expand the use of such solutions to more of our charging stations and also to our medium-duty and heavy-duty electric fleet customers, we are positioned to enable continued transportation electrification even in the face of utility capacity constraints.”
“To put this into perspective, the energy storage system at Baker, when fully charged, could provide enough energy for an average household for over three months,” Shah added.
Electrify America now has a total of over 30 megawatts of installed energy storage at over 150 locations. In California, 50 charging stations coupled with energy storage constitute the largest operating Virtual Power Plant (VPP) that can shift energy usage to off-peak hours in the California Independent System Operator’s wholesale energy market, CAISO.
Source: Electrify America