Less than a year after announcing plans for a renewable solar energy project in California, EV charging network Electrify America has officially broken ground on the site of “Solar Glow 1.” At peak solar capacity, the project is expected to generate 75 Megawatts (MW) and provide even more renewable energy to EVs on an annual basis.
Electrify America currently operates one of the largest DC fast charging networks in the US, consisting of approximately 800 charging stations that are home to about 3,500 individual EV chargers offering speeds between 150 and 350 kW.
Previously, the network stated it was purchasing renewable energy credits that more than offset its energy usage for EV charging. However, in May of 2022, Electrify America shared it was abandoning the third-party unbundled offset approach, which it believes does less to support renewable energy generation.
Instead, Electrify America announced plans to implement a solar photovoltaic renewable energy generation project called “Solar Glow 1” planned for San Bernardino County, California.
Today, the EV charging network officially broke ground on the future site of the solar project, expected to be online later this year.
Electrify America solar facility expected online this summer
With construction now underway, Electrify America once again relayed that “Solar Glow 1” is expected to reach a peak capacity of 75 MW, which equates to an estimated annual production of 225,000 Megawatt-hours (MWh).
As we learned last May, the project is part of a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with California developer Terra-Gen. To counter its current energy usage until Solar Glow 1 is up and running, Electrify America states it still using environmental certificates in addition to an interim VPPA with Terra-Gen using its existing solar thermal plant, also located in San Bernadino County.
Current vice president of technology and soon to be Electrify America CEO, Rob Barrosa spoke:
Electrify America has always been focused on driving sustainability forward, which extends beyond electric vehicles and charging and into the energy needed to power the EV revolution. Our customers can feel proud that every charge they make on our network is backed by 100% renewable energy, and today’s groundbreaking of Solar Glow 1 showcases our future and represents our company’s values.
Over the course of the 15-year VPPA, Electrify America expects its investment in Solar Glow 1 to circumvent an estimated two million metric tons in CO2 emissions, comparable to the carbon eliminated by planting close to 40 million trees. EA’s head of energy services Jigar Shah also spoke:
The groundbreaking of Solar Glow 1 is an important step towards additional annual renewable energy generation comparable to the energy used by over 20,000 American homes annually.
Electrify America’s new solar facility in California is expected to up and running by late summer 2023, a perfect time of year to start gathering some clean, renewable energy from the sun.
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