Batteries and Portable Power

Grid-Tied, Solar EV Fast Charger with Energy Storage

Growing Energy Labs Inc. (Geli) announced the commercial operation of the first grid-tied, solar-integrated EV (electric vehicle) fast charging station optimized by energy storage. Located at City Hall in the City of Benicia, the system was designed by San Francisco-based Geli and funded with a $79,200 California Energy Commission grant administered jointly by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and EV Communities Alliance. The installation also received support from California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The project was implemented by a consortium of project partners including Growing Energy Labs Inc. (Geli), CODA Energy, Bass Electric, BTC Power, Energy Vault, McCalmont Engineering, and Ideal Power.

Geli co-founder Ryan Wartena said, “Geli is proud to present the very first fast EV charger powered by a solar array and a battery energy storage system, all interconnected to the power grid. We have worked with many wonderful companies to deploy this first of a kind system, enabling the City of Benicia to manage its energy like computers manage data. This is the beginning of what we call the Internet of Energy.”

“By combining Geli’s EOS with CODA Energy storage, we enhance the value of renewable generation. Whether it’s renewable generation for “plug-in” vehicles or as it’s applied to other dynamic loads, this combined system provides critical balance and creates the real-world foundation of a sustainable grid and a zero-carbon transportation system,” said Peter Nortman, COO of CODA Energy.

Controlled by the Geli EOS (Energy Operating System), the charger intelligently determines when to use solar energy generated from City Hall’s rooftop PV panels and when to draw stored solar energy from the CODA Core ESS (energy storage system) based on the price of power and energy. The entire system is comprised of the Geli EOS, a 20kW/40kWh CODA Core ESS with an Ideal Power battery converter, three EV chargers including a BTC Power Level 3 EV Fast Charger, and a 175kW solar PV array. In addition to intelligent EV charging, the system also performs peak shaving services, saving the City of Benicia money on their time-of-use electricity tariff.

This is an example of what is expected to be a tsunami of similar grid-connected energy storage projects. The California legislature recently approved $415 million in funding through the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign into law. The $83 million per year SGIP program provides funds until 2019 for technologies that can enable behind-the-meter generation, including wind, fuel cells, and their pairing with energy storage, electric vehicle charging and grid interconnect issues.

Growing Energy Labs Inc.
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