Electrify America Turns 140 U.S. Charging Stations into Virtual Power Plants

Electrify America announced on Thursday it has installed onsite, behind-the-meter battery energy storage systems (BESS) at more than 140 of its electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the U.S.

The new feature now enables two-way connections to the electrical grid, turning them into Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) with a total energy storage capacity of 30 megawatts.

Around 90 of the charging stations in question are located in California, where Electrify America has already participated in over 190 demand response market events via demand response management and grid service company Olivine in the California Independent System Operator’s wholesale energy market, CAISO.

According to the company, the move is the largest deployment of onsite behind-the-meter BESS coupled with DC fast chargers in all of North America.

“We are constantly striving to introduce innovations that will drive the EV industry forward,” said Giovanni Palazzo, President and Chief Executive Officer at Electrify America.

“With this significant deployment of battery energy storage, Electrify America will be able to help ensure a more efficient customer experience, especially as EV adoption increases and infrastructure demands continue to grow.”

BESS-backed Virtual Power Plants stockpile power when electricity costs are low, supplementing stored power to the electrical grid during times of peak consumption. The process minimizes the impact of extraordinary demand on the electrical grid and helps mitigate demand surges.

Electrify America hopes the revenue it generates by operating these Virtual Power Plants and the utility costs it saves will help deliver consistent, affordable pricing to its EV charging customers with greater reliability than fluctuating gas prices.

Furthermore, Electrify America has already started working on certification and initial roll-out of its next-generation onsite behind-the-meter battery energy storage solutions, which will “support higher peak power or demand mitigation capability in approximately the same footprint.”

Earlier this year, Electrify America hit a total of 600 EV fast-charging stations, consequently announcing it would double the number of EV chargers it has in the U.S. and Canada by 2025.