Electric vehicles (EV) are celebrated for their ability to replace carbon-emitting gas-powered vehicles, but an EV is only as clean as the power generation source that charges it. Much of the United States electric grid is still powered by natural gas and coal.
Electrify America, a provider of DC fast-charging solutions for EVs, has made a direct investment in solar to ensure that the demand created by vehicles charging on its network is met with low cost, reliable and emissions-free power generation.
The company entered a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement with developer Terra-Gen, signing on for generation provided by a 75 MW solar facility in San Bernardino County, California. Generation from a facility of this size is comparable to the power draw of 500 vehicles simultaneously at an average speed of 150 kW.
Spanning one square mile, the project, called Solar Glow 1, is comprised of over 200,000 solar panels and is expected to produce over 225 GWh of electricity per year.
“We expect the demand on our charging network to continue to rise with the increase in EV ownership,” said Jigar Shah, director of energy services at Electrify America. “Solar Glow 1 adds new additional 100% renewable energy generation with estimated annual production that exceeds our 2022 network usage.”
In 2022, Electrify America charged vehicles more than 5 million customer charging sessions, which was 3.5 times the sessions in 2021. These charging sessions delivered roughly 173 GWh of electricity, enabling an estimated 493 million miles of electric driving and an avoided consumption of roughly 21 million gallons of gasoline.
“This solar project is a significant accomplishment reinforcing our commitment in 2022 to back all energy delivered to customers on Electrify America’s coast-to-coast public, ultra-fast DC charging network with 100% renewable energy,” said Robert Barrosa, president and chief executive officer, Electrify America.
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