As grid capacity challenges top the bill at the CENEX and Welsh Local Authorities meeting later this month, Connected Energy highlights the advantages of storage solutions

The Welsh Local Authorities, with the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (CENEX) will be exploring issues around grid capacity and fleet management at an event on 23 March, to ensure good decisions are made when electrifying vehicle depots.

The cost to industry can be significant where facilities and depots have grid limitations – such as import capacity – which cap the number of chargers able to provide power to charge EVs at any one time. Beyond the boundaries of active management, the only option is to address each site’s energy infrastructure.

The CENEX event will explore how many facilities know their grid capacity, the potential demand for EV chargers, and the role of a battery energy storage system (BESS) in helping to manage increased pressure for electricity supply.

Awareness of energy security and the need for renewable energy has risen steeply in recent months, along with the price of fuel.  Onsite energy creation can provide an independent, clean source of fuel, with solar arrays becoming both more affordable and more adaptable.

Nigel Dent, Head of Sales at Connected Energy, says:  “It’s a common misconception that battery energy storage must be combined with sun or wind power.  While a BESS is the ideal companion to independent, onsite energy, a stand-alone system can provide the grid flexibility a constrained site needs.

“The BESS can be charged up when electricity is plentiful on the site (evenings and weekends or low electricity usage times) and used to supply electricity when the site or the area is affected by constraint. The BESS will help to smooth out the usage across the day and provide additional capacity for the EV chargers.

“Cabling work will be inevitable when you install EV chargers, so it also makes sense to ‘do it once and do it well’ by installing a BESS at the same time.  The BESS is an asset in its own right, so it has short- and long-term value.”

With onsite energy creation, battery storage has been described as ‘the true bridge to a clean-energy future,’ making it possible to store energy from wind and solar PV.

Of particular interest to fleet managers, BESS made from second life vehicle batteries, like those supplied by Connected Energy, also drive the circular economy, and make a significant additional impact on carbon reduction.

The International Council on Clean Transportation has calculated that reusing an EV battery in a second life application extends the battery lifetime by 72% which therefore reduces the vehicles’ carbon footprint by 42% per kilometre.

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