The number of electric vehicles is rapidly expanding, creating a need for more charging stations. In 2013, MisterGreen built the rapid charging station ‘Haarrijn’ at the A2 highway between Amsterdam and Utrecht. The pilot station with solar panels and local energy storage was commissioned in 2016. These solar panels provide the charging station with energy. If no vehicles are connected, the generated energy is diverted into the battery, to be used when electric vehicles do connect to charge. This enables maximum usage of sustainably generated energy. Whenever the solar panels and battery do run out of energy, the system can of course always fall back on the central grid.
All three pioneering partners were therefore able to reflect on this project with great satisfaction upon completing their evaluation after the first full year of operation. ‘Daily practice tends to be more complex than theoretical plans, but that was not the case here’, says David Peters, the Director of Strategy & Innovation at grid operator Stedin. ‘As vehicle charging processes were not constantly relying on our central grid, peak loads on our cables reduced which extends their lifecycles. It also learned us how to cope with peaks on our grid for this specific application, which is highly valuable knowledge during the energy transition. We can now turn these lessons into cost reductions, and offer lower prices to our customers’.
The project also proved to be a success for MisterGreen: ‘This pilot offered us many useful insights about energy storage, both in terms of practical application and its influence on the central grid. Our ultimate objective is to offer electric vehicle users flexible rates. Combining solar panels with local energy storage provides maximum flexibility to do that. It’s wonderful how we can offer our users lower rates whenever there’s more wind or sunshine’, explains Mark Schreurs, one of the founders of MisterGreen.
Energy expert Alfen, located in Almere in The Netherlands, delivered its TheBattery storage solution for this project and also proudly reflects on this successful project. ‘It’s great to see how our battery system contributes to making this station more sustainable and optimally utilize its assets, by using every last bit of locally generated solar energy to charge electric vehicles. Furthermore, this pilot provided us with numerous new insights we can utilize to further optimize and refine our products’, says Richard Jongsma, Commercial Director at Alfen.
The next objective for the three project partners, is to make this charging station 100% sustainable. This also means they will look for a fully green energy supplier, to also use fully sustainable energy whenever the station does rely on the central grid.
Sustainable energy for everyone. Stedin endeavors to accomplish this every single day, so that more than 2 million of our customers in the most urbanized and industrial region of the Netherlands can live and work sustainably. The region we operate in, is characterized by its intricate and complex energy infrastructure and a considerable energy dependence. With over 3,100 staff members, we work toward a sustainable energy system that increasingly generates its energy locally. Our aim is to build a system that remains sustainable and affordable now and in the future, so we can pass it on from one generation to the next one.
This year, Alfen celebrates its 80th anniversary. The company develops, manufactures and delivers transformer stations and station automation solutions, energy storage systems, charging stations and poles for electric vehicles, and complete micro-grids. Alfen is a key partner in the center of the energy transition, present in many aspects of the energy industry as a system integrator. For more information, please visit www.alfen.com.
About MisterGreen Electric Lease
In less than four years’ time, MisterGreen became an iconic organization in the car lease industry, being one of the most rapidly growing lease corporation in The Netherlands. With its mission ‘Everyone Electric, MisterGreen works to accelerate the energy transition from fossil fuels to electrically powered vehicle fleets in The Netherlands,. MisterGreen also operates sixteen rapid charging stations on highways in The Netherlands.