Unofficial Tesla evangelist Bjørn Nyland uncovered what is, in all likelihood, the world’s largest EV-charging-enabled parking structure, which features a whopping 102 charging stations. We wrote about the new structure 10 days ago, but Bjørn’s video adds a great deal to the story.
The new “Charging Enabled Parking Structure” is the product of a partnership between the municipality, the charging system provider, and the property owner. It came about as a result of pure demand, which created the right market signals for the new development to make sense. With Norway leading the world in EV market penetration, the capital city of Oslo (which saw 50% of new cars sold last month including a plug) is experiencing a shortage of EV charging stations.
In response, this structure, with 100 Level 2 charging stations and 2 Level 3 DC Fast Charging stations, was built for the fast-growing market. All 100 Level 2 charging stations can push through 3.7 kW to customers but are supported by circuits with capacity for up to 22 kW each. This was done because the stations were also built with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) functionality in mind.
While no public vehicle-to-grid stations are running with this functionality active today, it holds massive potential as grid operators seek to strike a balance between intermittent renewable generation sources, massive spikes in demand coming from EVs, grid-scale batteries and pumped hydro storage, and the untapped storage potential of a distributed fleet of EVs, each with 50–100 kWh of battery capacity.
This forward-thinking installation also includes an admittedly diminutive 50 kWh energy storage solution with inverter in the utility room. With no other Charging Enabled Parking Structures of this size to use for reference, the battery installation is an attempt to understand how stationary energy storage can help absorb the large peaks in demand that come from 100 EVs plugging in at the same time when everyone gets home from work.
Peaks in demand are difficult for utilities to absorb, as they have to be matched in real time with corresponding peaker generation — or, more recently, grid-scale energy storage solutions. As such, peak-demand electricity usage is typically billed at much higher rates than normal electricity usage. Utilizing an onsite battery to take the sharp edges off of demand spikes helps to keep the system more profitable to operate and keeps charging rates lower for customers at the same time.
This is yet another lane in the highway towards electric vehicle personal transport that is being paved by Norway, and an exciting example of innovation in what may have seemed like the least likely of places — parking lots.
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