World’s largest rapid charge network planned for the UK using grid-batteries. Pivot Power has unveiled plans to build a world-first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the UK.
The £1.6 billion programme plans to provide infrastructure to support the rapid adoption of EVs and underpin clean air policies, while introducing grid load balancing, which is seen as potentially critical to meet the demands of mass EV charging and smoothen energy supply from renewable generation. Pivot Power plans to develop 45 sites around the country, installing grid-scale 50MW batteries at electricity sub-stations connected directly to the extra-high-voltage transmission system.
The battery network will be the world’s biggest, the company claims, storing enough electricity to supply 235,000 average homes for a day. It will have the ability to release or absorb two thirds the power of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power plant in response to grid balancing requirements.
Sites have been chosen near towns and major roads where they can also power rapid EV charging stations. These will be fed directly by the transmission system, and so will be able to offer mass charging at competitive rates, supporting up to 100 rapid 150KW chargers. They will also be able to support rapid 350KW chargers when they become available in the UK.
It will also be the world’s largest network of rapid charging stations, addressing the three biggest barriers to EV adoption identified by the Department for Transport (DfT): availability of chargers, distance travelled on a charge, and cost. By offering affordable charging, Pivot Power predicts this will lower the costs of car ownership for the next generation; the third biggest barrier.
Pivot Power aims to have operational batteries at 10 sites within 18 months. Each will provide a hub that can support a variety of infrastructure, such as public rapid charging stations, electric bus depots and bases for large transport fleets.
A site on the south coast could be operational by the middle of 2019, subject to planning approval, and more details will be announced in the coming months.
The batteries will earn money from providing a range of services to National Grid, from sales of electricity to chargers, and from energy trading. Rapid charging stations will earn income from EV drivers.