EDF Pivots towards bigger electric vehicle and storage activity

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From pv magazine France.

After the acquisition of United States-based PowerFlex Systems in September, France’s EDF Group added another piece to its electric mobility jigsaw with the acquisition of British start-up Pivot Power.

Specializing in electric vehicle (EV) storage and charging infrastructure, Pivot Power has a 2 GW portfolio of battery storage projects spread across more than 40 sites in the U.K.

The first of those projects – in Kemsley in the southeastern English county of Kent and in Cowley, Oxfordshire – are set to be commissioned this year.

Each project will house storage batteries with a total capacity of up to 50 MW to enable the installation of 100 fast charging stations for EVs, with the offer particularly suited to large shopping centers, logistics bases, bus depots and parking lots.

“As part of its projects, the company will also develop private electrical infrastructure networks including the wide deployment of fast charging stations in the country,” said EDF.

Goals

French power company EDF announced its Electrical Storage Plan in March 2018, committing to invest more than €8 billion in the 2018-35 period to develop 10 GW of new energy storage facilities worldwide. The company also started an Electric Mobility Plan in October 2018, which set the goal of being the e-mobility market leader by 2022 in France, Italy, Belgium and the U.K. pv magazine reported at the time, EDF intended to become the market leader in electric supply for EVs, with a target of 600,000 vehicles in 2022, and in the operation of charging station networks, with 75,000 in the same timeframe. However, a press release issued by EDF yesterday to announce the Pivot acquisition indicated those targets related to goals beyond 2022. The previously stated goal of owning 4,000 “smart charging” facilities “by 2020” was not mentioned in yesterday’s corporate statement.

Previous U.K. prime minister Theresa May set the target of achieving a net zero carbon economy in the country in 2050 in her final days in office.

“We want to accelerate the U.K.’s transition to competitive, reliable and low-carbon electricity and enable the rapid adoption of clean modes of transport,” said Matt Allen, co-founder of Pivot Power. “EDF Renewables shares our vision and has the skills, resources and scale that will turn our ambition into reality.”