Welsh local authorities are today exploring issues around grid capacity and fleet management at an event today with the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (CENEX).

The cost to industry can be significant where facilities and depots have grid limitations – such as import capacity – which cap the number of chargers able to provide power to charge EVs at any one time. Aside from active management, the only option is to address each site’s energy infrastructure.

The CENEX event is exploring how many facilities know their grid capacity, the potential demand for EV chargers, and the role of a battery energy storage system (BESS) in helping to manage increased pressure for electricity supply.

Nigel Dent, head of sales at the energy storage provider Connected Energy, emphasised the importance of BESS for managing electricity supply.

‘It’s a common misconception that battery energy storage must be combined with sun or wind power. While a BESS is the ideal companion to independent, onsite energy, a stand-alone system can provide the grid flexibility a constrained site needs,’ he said.

‘The BESS can be charged up when electricity is plentiful on the site (evenings and weekends or low electricity usage times) and used to supply electricity when the site or the area is affected by constraint. The BESS will help to smooth out the usage across the day and provide additional capacity for the EV chargers.

‘Cabling work will be inevitable when you install EV chargers, so it also makes sense to “do it once and do it well” by installing a BESS at the same time. The BESS is an asset in its own right, so it has short- and long-term value.’