Thursday, April 11, 2024

Using on-site power storage to supercharge EV fleets with renewable energy

Matthew Lumsden, CEO, Connected Energy

The energy landscape is changing fast. More than ever, organisations around the country face a pressing need for larger and more consistent and cleaner supplies of energy. Confronted by a combination of ageing, limited infrastructure and higher peak loads, a proactive response to on-site power management will be key to avoiding productivity bottlenecks and unnecessary costs.

Fleet electrification is a uniquely challenging wave within these changing tides. Powering this crucial operational activity must now be on-grid, rapid, and flexible to the needs of dynamic and varied assets.

Accommodating these new and exciting demands through renewable energy is the gold standard, and one which Connected Energy has unlocked with its innovative battery energy storage system (BESS) technology.

Providing unprecedented flexibility, resilience and cost efficiency through smart storage for renewables, it’s leading the charge in green business growth.

A changing energy world

A high energy, low carbon economy is rapidly moving out of the distant horizon and into an immediate reality. From 2018 to 2050 Britain’s power requirements are predicated to double, in parallel with the achievement of net zero power generation across the nation.

These monumental changes are being built today. Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is a major growth area within this low-carbon paradigm shift, and a significant contributor to the increasing appetite for on-grid power. Ofgem predicts that 14 million EVs will be on the roads of Britain by 2030, up from 395,000 today, and that 100TWh of electricity will be needed to power them by 2050.

For your business, that means working out how to supply higher numbers of fast, rapid or ultra-rapid chargers—drawing up to 100kW each—on your sites and ensuring that load is balanced well enough to keep all your vehicles on the road, achieving their objectives.

Without an energy storage system, obtaining the necessary capacity usually requires an expensive, time-consuming DNO infrastructure upgrade. This will be unviable for many smaller businesses and can be difficult to justify for incremental expansions to EV charging infrastructure—not to mention the significant risk it poses to project timelines and budgets.

Connected Energy and its battery storage system offers an elegant solution to these obstacles, providing a low cost, highly adaptable route to effective on-site grid management.

Harnessing the potential of renewables

During this green energy boom, managing excess generation is as important as dealing with rising consumption. From as early as 2025, it’s predicted that 100% of British energy requirements could periodically be met through renewable generation. In fact, UK government is already paying hundreds of millions a year in constraint costs as green energy production outstrips the capacity of the current network.

Sites with their own renewable generation face similar stumbling blocks without an energy storage solution. Locally produced solar or wind surplus must be discharged during periods of low demand, either as waste or ill-timed exports to the grid, rather than powering EVs and business productivity.

With high power requirements and with volatile energy tariffs, expanding EV fleets suddenly run the risk of creating higher carbon footprints and operational costs—the opposite of what they could, and should, deliver.

Organisations can’t always control when their fleet needs to recharge. But, with an intelligent storage system for renewables—whether produced on-site or drawn from a green tariff—managers can ensure that drivers are ‘filling the tank’ with cheap, environmentally friendly energy round the clock.

Connecting energy

Connected Energy is working with organisations across the public and private spheres to equip them for a future defined by large-scale EV charging. Its E-STOR battery storage system transforms a one-way relationship with the grid into an effective energy ecosystem.

Integrated with other local assets, it intelligently draws and stores power at low-load, low-cost times, ready to deal with demand spikes and offering a higher overall site capacity. It also unlocks the full potential of renewable energy by allowing businesses to store surplus power produced on-site, realising the true value of their green assets and reducing dependency on mixed energy tariffs. Not only that, but as an AI-powered smart system the BESS can track loads across a site, providing extra power as needed to guard against slow charging, load shedding or outages.

Fundamentally, BESS technology gives energy managers the freedom and power to manage their energy strategy as they see fit. Whether it’s responding to changing rates in the energy market, accommodating new assets like EV charging points and on-site solar, or ensuring that every driver that pulls in can get the charge they need, the E-STOR system makes it consistently and reliably possible. Not only that, but by redeploying second life car batteries to enhance their EV charging capabilities, business managers can create a truly circular EV energy economy.

Conclusion

Connected Energy recognises the potential for supercharging EV fleets by linking them to efficient, flexible supplies of renewable energy. By placing a BESS at the heart of the on-site energy ecosystem, managers can achieve significant carbon reductions, realise cost efficiencies, and power green business growth.

Energy managers can also download a new white paper from Connected Energy, which explores how battery energy storage can meet the demands of EV charging and support sustainable business: www.connected-energy.co.uk/EV-charging-guide

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