EV charging stations are an amenity that can help businesses attract good-quality customers. However, site owners may find, especially with DC fast chargers, that power spikes can trigger expensive peak demand charges from their electric company.
NRG eVgo has partnered with energy storage startup Green Charge Networks to add integrated battery storage to its growing network of Freedom Stations, enabling station owners to level out consumption and avoid demand charges.
EV charging stations and battery storage are a natural fit, according to Vic Shao, Green Charge’s CEO. “It’s really a symbiotic structure. We help enhance the value offering to the end customer – not only are they getting EV chargers, but they’re also getting power savings as well.”
The battery storage is not directly connected to the EV chargers, but is attached to the building load. The two appliances exist in parallel and join up at the host’s electrical panel.
Green Charge and NRG have been testing their joint system for several years. There are currently five NRG-Green Charge sites in California, including one at San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium. According to Shao, the system has been shown to offer savings of up to 50 percent during peak summertime hours.
Other companies in the distributed storage market include Stem, Sonnenbatterie, Geli and SolarCity/Tesla. Shao thinks the successful companies will be those that venture outside of the Silicon Valley ecosystem and connect with more broadly focused players like Samsung or NRG. “Having these relationships and partners on your side – that’s the only way you’re going to make it in cleantech these days. It’s by pulling in the traditional guys and not being seen as a Silicon Valley outfit on the fringe.”
Source: Greentech Media