Electrify America announced that it has now deployed over 30 MW of battery capacity using Tesla Powerpacks at over 140 charging stations.
In 2019, Tesla and Electrify America, VW’s electric vehicle charging network, announced that they reached a deal for the former to deploy Powerpacks at more than 100 charging stations operated by the latter.
We have been tracking their progress in deploying those battery systems since it appears to be the largest deployment of energy storage at electric vehicle charging stations.
Around this time last year, we learned that Electrify America had Tesla Powerpacks at about 60 stations.
Today, the VW-owned charging network announced that it has now deployed Tesla Powerpacks at over 140 charging stations:
Electrify America today announced that it has installed onsite, behind-the-meter battery energy storage systems (BESS) at over 140 ultra-fast DC charging stations around the country, including more than 90 installations in California. These systems in total have more than 30 megawatts (MW) of energy storage capacity, representing the largest roll-out of onsite behind-the-meter battery energy storage coupled with DC Fast Charging in North America.
By adding the batteries, Electrify America hopes to lower their demand charges and deliver more stable pricing to customers.
Demand charges are a higher rate than an electric utility charges when a user’s electricity needs a spike.
It can be extremely costly for electric vehicle charging networks considering the nature of their electricity needs – a station can see minimal use for most of the day and then have several EVs show up to charge at once.
When first announcing the deal with Tesla, Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer at Electrify America, told us that some utilities will charge them as much as $30 to $40 per kW in demand charges.
By shaving the top demand from the grid and grabbing the power from the Powerpacks, even if only for a few moments, electricity costs can be greatly reduced.
Palazzo commented today on the new battery storage deployment update:
We are constantly striving to introduce innovations that will drive the EV industry forward. With this significant deployment of battery energy storage, Electrify America will be able to help ensure a more efficient customer experience, especially as EV adoption increases and infrastructure demands continue to grow.
On top of the update today, Electrify America also announced that it is working with Olivine to offer behind-the-meter grid services with its energy storage and vehicle-grid systems:
To date, Electrify America’s behind-the-meter energy storage has already participated in over 190 demand response market events via Olivine in the California Independent System Operator’s wholesale energy market, CAISO – shifting over 125 MWh of on-peak energy to lower carbon intensity off-peak hours creating the largest Virtual Power Plant (VPP) offering in CAISO backed by DC fast charging coupled with behind-the-meter energy storage.
This is an example of charging networks trying to optimize the infrastructure assets that they are deploying as they quickly grow to support the electric vehicle revolution.
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