Shell has partnered with energy-storage system and charging-station provider Alfen to trial an on-site, battery-powered, electricity-supply system in the Netherlands.
The virtual power plant located at the fuel retailer’s Zaltbommel site stores electricity, avoiding costly and time-consuming public grid upgrades. The increased supply of energy allows drivers to use the site’s two 175kW charging points simultaneously. The system also enables fast charging at locations that do not have easy access to the electricity grid.
‘By supporting the introduction of additional ultra-fast charging points, this solution can help meet customers’ charging needs at grid-constrained locations, both at Shell-owned retail stations and also at our customers’ premises,’ said Roger Hunter, vice president, electric mobility at Shell. ‘We will continue to provide affordable and accessible electric-charging services to enable more customers to drive electric,’ he added.
In addition to reducing the load on the power network, the system can use the spare capacity of the battery to sell electricity back at peak times. This not only helps to stabilise the grid when electricity demand is high, but also generates additional revenue for the site.
The pilot project combines Alfen’s battery with Shell’s fast-charging expertise, including software management from Shell-owned companies NewMotion and Greenlots. It is also a sustainable solution as using stored energy helps to maximise the use of renewable electricity.
To enable drivers of electrically-chargeable vehicles (EVs) to recharge their vehicles quickly and conveniently, Shell’s electric-mobility brand, Shell Recharge, has installed more than 160 fast chargers on forecourts in the Netherlands.
Andreas Plenk, business-unit director, energy-storage solutions at Alfen, commented: ‘As a supplier of transformer substations and smart-grid connection services for the Shell Recharge ultra-fast charging locations throughout the Netherlands, we are extremely proud to be able to expand that work with energy storage. We believe that the integration of energy storage at EV fast-charging stations is important to ensure grid stability while providing EV drivers with an optimal charging experience.’
This latest initiative will support Shell’s charging-infrastructure ambitions in the Netherlands and beyond. In February, the oil company outlined its strategy to accelerate the transformation to a net-zero energy provider by 2050. Shell intends to expand its global EV-charging network to around half a million charge points by 2025.
Shell acquired EV-infrastructure developer ubitricity in January, and announced back in November 2017 that it was joining the vehicle manufacturer-backed Ionity scheme to start installing charging stations across the European Union.
Onto partnership in the UK
In another new initiative, EV-subscription service Onto has partnered with Shell to give users access to the Shell Recharge network. Onto also highlights that this includes Shell’s 17 partner networks, which is ‘growing thanks to NewMotion’s interoperability.’
The new partnership gives Onto subscribers free access to over 3,050 charge points in the UK, and 170,000 in Europe. These include 950 rapid (50kW) and ultra-fast (150kW) points in the UK, as well as the Ionity network of ultra-high-power (350kW) charging points. Customers can locate their nearest charging station either using an online map or the company’s mobile-phone app.