Gridserve to build PV-powered, battery-backed EV charging stations

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This year, the company plans to start installing the first of more than 100 such sites, which will be backed by PV arrays and batteries. The build-out is part of a £1 billion ($1.7 billion) program, backed by the U.K. government’s first Energy Investment Portfolio.

“Within five years we plan to have more than 100 Electric Forecourts in use, with each supported by solar energy and battery storage,” said Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve.

As part of its plan, the company — which is based just outside of London in the village of Iver — will build an unspecified amount of new solar capacity to provide electricity to its Electric Forecourt charging stations. It added that the “multi-megawatt” battery storage systems it will install as part of this rollout will “support the rapid uptake of EVs and additional renewable energy capacity.” It aims “to make electric vehicle charging as easy as using petrol stations.”

Construction will begin at some point this year in the cities of York and Hull, according to an online statement. In York, Gridserve is already overseeing the development of a 34.7 MWp solar project and 27 MW battery storage system. It plans to use bifacial solar panels for the York project and another unspecified PV array in Hull. It aims to install Electric Forecourts at both locations before the end of this year.

The company’s network of charging stations will eventually span the entire country, Harper said: “This infrastructure will accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, serve the grid, and help the U.K. meet climate and clean air targets. We are partnering with operators of fleet vehicles, developers, financiers of vehicles and infrastructure, EV manufacturers, retailers, local authorities, and others who share our vision.”

The Electric Forecourt stations will accommodate private and fleet vehicles like taxis and buses. It estimates average charging times for most vehicles at less than 30 minutes. The charging rate will go as high as 500 kW for cars and light commercial vehicles

Earlier this month, Gridserve announced plans to deploy 60 MW of bifacial-plus-tracking projects in the U.K. The projects include two sites with capacities of 34.7 MW and 25.7 MW.