Netherlands licenses first EV smart charging company to provide grid services


The NewMotion electric vehicle (EV) charging business owned by Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell has become the first such entity to obtain a licence to provide grid balancing services in the Netherlands.

Dutch grid company Tennet has licensed NewMotion to provide megawatt-scale balancing services to maintain grid frequency at 50 Hz by varying the rate at which EVs are charged.

NewMotion will bundle EV drivers who sign up for the scheme into a virtual battery which will be able to offer 1 MW of grid balancing for every 4,000 vehicles under charge. Charging points across the company's network will slow their rate when the grid frequency is too low and ramp when it is high, Tennet said on its website this month.

Tennet said the EV charging business has reassured customers its smart charging algorithm will ensure nobody experiences any “significant impact on the charging experience,” and will be assured “of a full charge when they need it.”

The frequency containment reserve service offered by NewMotion will be equivalent to the energy consumption of 1,000 households, said Tennet, with the smart chargers able to react to frequency variation “within seconds,” a rate up to 600% faster than gas ‘peaker' power stations which would be fired up to provide the same facility, according to the Dutch electricity transmission system operator.

Tennet has conducted trials into the potential effectiveness of smart charging EVs – and even household internet-of-things devices – to provide grid services, as the rising volume of renewables projects is causing strain on its Dutch electricity networks.

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