GRIDSERVE continues to innovate to deliver a charging network that enables electric vehicle travel across the UK, in the earliest timeframes possible. As testament to this, the latest Electric Super Hub site at Moto Ferrybridge has six new High Power chargers now energised, but behind the scenes these are initially being powered by an interim microgrid solution that uses batteries, in conjunction with vegetable oil generators.
The microgrid is a temporary solution to power the Electric Super Hub, which will ultimately have 12 High Power chargers once the permanent grid connection is in place. The Moto site is strategically placed on the interchange of the M62/A1(M), accessible from both major roads in both directions. The microgrid has enabled GRIDSERVE to bring six of the new chargers online now to support our customer charging needs at this location until the permanent grid connection comes online in a few months.
The microgrid solution features a 150kW/150kWh battery pack that controls the supply of power to the EV chargers and is supplied by vegetable oil generators, maximising overall efficiency and reducing noise output. Vegetable oil generators produce 90% less carbon emissions than traditional generators, so in order to stay net zero, GRIDSERVE is also planting trees to offset the remaining 10% carbon emissions this process is unable to remove.
Getting new Electric Super Hubs online often isn’t straightforward. Over the course of anywhere from six to 18 months, GRIDSERVE works with landowners, adjacent business owners, local councils, contractors and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to energise new locations. Any delay at any stage, could postpone GRIDSERVE delivering the new Electric Super Hub, and over time this can have a knock-on effect on timelines for projects being energised. Once the chargers are in place and ready to go, our customers can experience an agonising wait for energisation, hence this is why GRIDSERVE is trialling this solution to accelerate the energisation timeframes.
Toddington Harper, CEO at GRIDSERVE, said: “GRIDSERVE’s purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and we are committed to delivering net zero transport across the UK in the earliest possible timeframes. In particular, we are focussed on meeting the Government’s target of delivering at least six High Power chargers at our motorway partner locations by the end of this year. Electric Super Hubs typically require new grid connections, which are outside of our control and often take much longer to deliver than installing all the chargers.
“As a result, we’ve been working through solutions to get chargers working as quickly as possible, and we are excited to trial this microgrid solution running on batteries and vegetable oil, as this has enabled us to get the chargers operating many months before the grid connection was available. It’s not a perfect solution, hence to maintain net zero we have arranged to plant trees to offset any carbon emissions produced, but on balance, as an interim solution we feel it makes sense. Of course, if there are people out there who have even better interim solutions that can be delivered within the timeframes we are working to, we would be delighted to hear from you.”
The microgrid at Ferrybridge is a test site for GRIDSERVE, which will be monitored to understand the customer experience, charging speeds and overall feedback, while awaiting grid connection. Customers using the site are invited to share their feedback through firstname.lastname@example.org.