Electrify America announces EV charging network backed by 100 percent renewable energy

Artist’s impression of Electrify America’s solar energy project in California
(Image courtesy of Electrify America)

Electrify America has announced that it has entered into a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with developer Terra-Gen to build a solar photovoltaic renewable energy generation project called Electrify America Solar Glow 1.

The project, in San Bernardino County, California, is expected to generate 75 MW per hour at peak solar capacity, or an estimated annual production of 225,000 MWh. It is projected to produce enough 100% renewable energy annually to more than offset the energy currently delivered on an annual basis to Electrify America’s customers charging on its existing network. Its operational target is mid-2023.

Electrify America is buying and retiring all the bundled environmental certificates associated with the project over a 15-year period, shifting away from the business-as-usual approach of buying environmental certificates from a third-party supplier on an unbundled basis, which does less to support additional renewable energy generation.

Electrify America’s first solar project, in the Mojave Desert, might also be expanded to include a co-located battery energy storage system to further increase the supply of renewable energy to the grid during times when more costly – and often more polluting – power plants may be used to meet customer needs.

The potential use of this storage system would add to Electrify America’s ongoing effort of deploying more than 30 MW of behind-the-meter energy storage systems at charging stations across the US.

Although the new solar facility will not be online until the middle of next year, Electrify America’s charging network is already backed by 100% renewable energy effective from April 2022 through the purchase of environmental certificates from existing renewable generation.

In addition, the company is entering into an interim VPPA with Terra-Gen to support the latter’s existing Solar Energy Generating Systems IX solar thermal plant until the San Bernardino County facility is fully operational.