A Shell first, the battery-powered system offers an alternative solution to costly and time-consuming public grid upgrades by storing electricity in an on-site battery. The increased supply of energy helps power ultra-fast chargers, allowing drivers to simultaneously use the site’s two 175kW charge points.
Connected to a virtual power plant (VPP), the system provides additional benefits as it can use the spare capacity of the battery to sell electricity back to the grid at peak demand moments. This generates revenue for the site – and helps provide stability to the electricity grid.
The pilot combines Alfen’s battery with Shell’s fast charging expertise, including software management from Shell-owned NewMotion and Greenlots, to enable fast charging at grid-constrained locations where it would otherwise be impossible. It is also a sustainable solution – using stored energy helps maximize the use of renewable electricity.
Charge point availability is key to mass uptake of EVs and this system helps address some infrastructure challenges. It could also serve as a blueprint for Shell’s future installation activities. The pilot comes only weeks after Shell set out its strategy to accelerate its transformation into a provider of net-zero emissions energy products and services, powered by growth in its customer-facing businesses. This includes an aim to grow its global EV network to around 500,000 charge points by 2025.
“By supporting the introduction of additional ultra-fast charging points this solution can help meet customers’ charging needs at grid constrained locations, both at Shell owned retail stations and also at our customers’ premises,” said Roger Hunter, vice president electric mobility at Shell. “We will continue to provide affordable and accessible electric charging services to enable more customers to drive electric.”
Andreas Plenk, business unit director of energy storage solutions at Alfen, explained that, as a supplier of transformer substations and smart grid connection services for the Shell Recharge ultra-fast charging locations throughout the Netherlands, Alfen is gratified to be able to expand that work with energy storage.
“We believe that the integration of energy storage at EV fast charging stations is important to ensure grid stability while providing EV drivers with an optimal charging experience,” Plenk said.
Alfen’s transformer substations provide millions of households and companies with energy, while thousands of electric vehicles make daily use of Alfen’s charging stations. The Alfen energy storage system is used for applications such as load balancing, energy trading, frequency regulation and creating autonomous electricity grids in combination with solar or wind energy.
The goal of Shell’s electric mobility brand, Shell Recharge, is to make driving electric easier. Shell Recharge delivers charging solutions, where and whenever customers want to recharge. The company offers fast charging at Shell highway locations in Europe, by providing access to one of the largest charging networks of Europe, and by providing home and business charging solutions.
To enable EV drivers in the Netherlands to recharge their vehicles quickly and conveniently, Shell Recharge is installing fast chargers on the Shell forecourts there. So far, more than 160 fast chargers are installed at Shell stations.
NewMotion and Greenlots are wholly-owned Shell group companies. NewMotion provides customers access to over 185,000 public charging points in over 35 countries. Greenlots is an EV charging solutions provider headquartered in Los Angeles, but with a global footprint; more than 2,000 charging sessions occur on the Greenlots network each day.