Pivot Power, a privately-owned UK company, has unveiled plans to build the world’s first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid EV charging stations across the UK.
The £1.6bn (US$2.15bn) program will, the company claimed, provide the infrastructure to support rapid adoption of electric vehicles – while also building flexibility into the electricity grid to accommodate mass EV charging and increasing levels of non-constant renewable energy generation.
Pivot Power plans to develop 45 sites around the UK, installing grid-scale 50MW batteries at substations connected to the extra-high-voltage transmission system.
The network of batteries will be the largest in the world, storing enough electricity to supply 235,000 average UK homes for a day. Sites have been selected to be near towns and major roads, and will also be used to power fast EV charging stations – supporting up to 100 150kW chargers. The system will be able to support 350kW chargers when this technology is introduced.
“We expect the use of electric vehicles to grow rapidly,” said Graeme Cooper, project director for electric vehicles at the UK’s National Grid.
“This innovative solution will help accelerate adoption by providing a network of rapid charging stations across the country, enabling cars to charge quickly, efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.
“It will also give the system operator more choice and flexibility for managing the demands in the day-to-day running of the network, and also help mass EV charging.”
The company is aiming to have batteries at 10 sites operational within 18 months. Each will act as a hub, capable of supporting infrastructure such as public rapid-charging stations, electric bus depots and transport fleet bases.
“We want to future-proof the UK’s energy system and accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, helping the UK to clean up its air and meet climate targets,” said Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power.
“Big problems require big solutions, and we are moving fast to put in place a unique network to support a clean, affordable, secure energy system and embrace the low-carbon economy.”
Pivot Power is keen to partner with operators of large fleets, such as local authorities, logistic companies and supermarkets. The company received financial backing from UK-based investment manager Downing – which has invested more than £500m (US$671m) into renewable energy projects since 2010.