EV charging network Electrify America announced the start of a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with renewable energy developer Terra-Gen to build a sustainable solar farm in Southern California. The project, called Electrify America Solar Glow 1, is estimated to generate enough solar energy per year to more than offset any of the energy supplied to the current EV charging grid.
Electrify America is currently one of the largest Fast DC charging networks in the United States, consisting of approximately 800 charging stations containing about 3,500 individual EV chargers with speeds ranging from 150 to 350 kW.
Also, the company is already divided plans to expand its charging network in the United States and Canada by 2026, increasing it to approximately 10,000 chargers at 1,800 different stations. As the EV grid expands, Electrify America continues to take on a zero carbon footprint.
The network claims that it is currently acquiring loans for renewable energy sources, which more than compensate for its energy use. However, in its latest announcement, Electrify America shared plans to abandon the disconnected third-party compensated approach, which it believes is doing less to support new renewable energy production.
Instead, Electrify America is handing over renewable compensation into its own hands by launching a new solar farm at SoCal.
Electrify America launches Solar Glow 1, which will begin in mid-2023
The EV charging network in the US announced its new solar energy plans in a press release today, outlining some conditions and goals while working with a developer of a renewable energy project. Terra-Gen.
Introducing Electify America Solar Glow 1, a solar photovoltaic renewable energy project planned in San Bernardino County, California. It is expected that upon completion, the project will generate 75 megawatts (MW) per hour at peak solar power and is estimated to receive 225,000 MWh per year.
If Electrify America does achieve these solar energy goals, it will generate more than enough 100% renewable energy to offset the current energy supplied to its EV-charged customers. The project was made possible by a 15-year VPPA with Terra-Gen, which will work as a kind of price hedge.
To begin with, EA signs a contract to pay for the solar energy project at an agreed price. Solar Glow 1 then sells the resulting renewable energy as a trader in the local wholesale market. If the electricity is sold above the agreed contract price, EA makes a profit. If the electricity falls below the conditional price, Electrify America covers the difference. EA President and CEO Giovanni Palazzo said:
America’s business model and goal of electrification has always been at the forefront of efforts to reduce emissions by providing electric mobility. Our commitment to customers and a sustainable future go hand in hand, so we invest in the production of renewable energy to provide a zero carbon footprint associated with the energy supplied to our customers.
Electrify America Solar Glow 1 is expected to be created in late 2022 and will be completed in the summer of 2023. Meanwhile, the EV network shared that last month it was already 100% supported by renewable energy through the acquisition of environmental certificates from existing renewable generation.
Finally, Electrify America has concluded a temporary VPPA with Terra-Gen, which will take effect in October to support the existing SEGS IX solar thermal power plant.
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