High-tech solar farms to be developed to boost UK’s sustainable EV charging network

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The UK is soon to see its first all-electric vehicle charging forecourt, which will offer up to 24 spaces for 350kW superchargers, and to provide this power from a sustainable energy source technically advanced hybrid solar farms are to be developed.

Gridserve Sustainable Energy, which develops and builds energy solutions for critical power infrastructure, is behind the electric forecourt with the first being built in Braintree, Essex in the UK. The company is planning a further network of electric forecourts in the coming years, and to boost this goal, it has recently announced a multi-million-pound investment from Hitachi Capital UK.

The partnership aims to revolutionize the UK’s approach to solar energy and create the infrastructure to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

The partnership will see Gridserve develop the UK’s most technically advanced hybrid solar farms, in conjunction with a new network of solar-powered Electric Forecourts to provide ultra-fast, dependable charging for all types of electric vehicles. The UK-wide network of over one hundred Electric Forecourts will be delivered over the next five years supported by multi-million-pound funding provided by Hitachi Capital UK.

Hitachi Capital UK’s loan facility to Gridserve will facilitate projects including hybrid solar farms in Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire, and the soon-to-open state of the art Electric Forecourt close to Braintree, Essex, with space for 24 vehicles to charge simultaneously in 20-30 minutes at a rate of up to 350 kW from its superchargers. Many more sites are already under development.

Gridserve will generate zero carbon solar energy to supply the Electric Forecourt network, in combination with large battery storage systems to deal with the intermittent nature of solar power and meet the growing demand for sustainable energy.

In addition to the loan facility, Hitachi Capital and Gridserve, in conjunction with Hitachi Europe SIB, are working together on various green energy focused projects including electrification of the UK bus network and the supply of electric vehicles with charging included at Gridserve Electric Forecourts.

Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, said: “We’re delighted to form a pioneering partnership with an innovative and market leading sustainable energy business, which will revolutionize the UK’s motoring landscape and accelerate the transition to vehicle electrification.

“The response to the current pandemic has highlighted the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. We now have a real opportunity, through flagship programs like this, to create the infrastructure needed to fast-track electric vehicle adoption across the UK and meet the Government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. Creating a greener, cleaner society.”

“Hitachi Capital’s established relationship with car manufacturers and brokers complements Gridserve’s expertise in solar energy and battery storage and plans to build state-of-the-art Electric Forecourts powered using 100% renewable energy generated from solar farms.

“Our partnership, at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, marks a real step change in addressing range anxiety caused by the lack of available charging stations currently available throughout the country.”

Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve Sustainable Energy Ltd, said: “Our strategic partnership with Hitachi Capital marks a major milestone in Gridserve’s journey. As well as providing significant financial backing to accelerate our ability to deliver sustainable energy and meet net zero carbon emission targets in the earliest possible timeframes, Hitachi Capital has an unrivaled wealth of experience, knowledge, resources, and expertise to support our collective success. We look forward to launching our first Electric Forecourt together in a few months, and delivering many additional projects over the next few years.”

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