Electrify America, a Virginia-based electric vehicle (EV) charging network, has agreed to a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA). Terra-Gen will construct a 75 MegaWatts (MW) peak capacity solar farm in San Bernardino County, CA, according to a press release.
As the United States enters a new phase of transportation, where cars are powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels, there is a need for extensive charging infrastructure. Despite the fact that EV-makers have invested in these charging points, there is room for many more in this space. However, having electric cars will not solve the problems of climate change. We also need to ensure that electricity used in these cars is carbon-free. This is where Electrify America aims to make a difference.
Charging with renewable power
Electrify America, which was established in 2018, is expanding its charging network and is currently available at 730 locations throughout the United States. The company has also invested in A.C. charging, which usually takes much longer but is more maneuverable to deploy in residential or office areas.
Owners of electric vehicles may be using AC chargers at home, but it is not necessary that the electricity supplied to their homes comes from a carbon-free source. Electrify America is by ensuring that the energy provided via its network is carbon neutral, and EV-owners can take pride in the fact that their shiny new automobile is actually making a positive impact on the environment.
How Electrify America plans to achieve this?
The company claims that the solar farm will produce 225,000 megawatt hours per year, which is more than the amount of energy that Electrify America''s extensive network will consume in a year.
The solar farm is expected to begin operation by the summer of 2023, but the company has established procedures to ensure that renewable energy will extend the amount of energy now reclaimed by purchasing renewable energy certificates starting from April 2022.
A REC is a way to gain credit for generating renewable energy and its positive environmental impact. It is tradeable in the open market, and corporations interested in using renewable energy may purchase them to support their energy consumption.
Electrify America stated in a press release that it will purchase bundled RECs for this purpose, which can non-stop compensate the energy consumed, but also assist in financing new renewable energy initiatives.
The company has also retained the possibility to expand the solar farm to include a battery-based energy storage system that can store and store electricity when there is a greater need on the grid.