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Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub officially launched as part of Energy Superhub Oxford

PRESS RELEASE
Category: Energy Superhubs Pivot Power Oxford
date: 5 July 2022
Car charging at Energy Superhub Oxford
  • Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub will provide fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles and has the capacity to charge 400, supporting the estimated 36 million EVs expected on UK roads by 2040
  • Cutting-edge hybrid battery launched to support the UK’s clean energy transition
  • Energy Superhub Oxford will provide a multi-sector blueprint for urban decarbonisation of cities
  • Project underpins Oxford’s 2040 net zero plan by electrifying transport and heating

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, alongside Oxford City Council, Fastned, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, has officially opened Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub, marking the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford. The project is part of a nationwide network of Energy Superhubs developed by Pivot Power, which combine transmission-connected batteries and power infrastructure for EV charging to enable more renewables and accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.

The charging hub will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles at once at Oxford’s Redbridge Park and Ride. The charging hub will be powered entirely by renewable energy. With 10 MW of installed capacity on site, the hub can scale up with EV adoption to provide charging for 400 vehicles,[1] helping to support the estimated 36 million EVs[2] expected on UK roads by 2040.

Trudy Harrison MP, Transport Decarbonisation Minister, said: “Electric vehicles form a key part of our strategy to decarbonise transport, so I’m pleased to see Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub opening in Oxford.

“Both the Government and industry, working together, are investing billions in projects like this to help provide the infrastructure to support the UK’s electric revolution and soaring EV sales.

“This in turn will help us decarbonise transport, create high-skilled jobs, and provide cleaner air across the UK.”

EUROPE’S MOST POWERFUL EV CHARGING HUB

Fastned, the European EV rapid charging company, has initially installed ten charging bays at the Superhub with 300 kW of power available, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for hundreds of EVs per day. Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, has deployed twenty 7-22 kW charging bays. A further twelve 250 kW Tesla Superchargers will be available for Tesla owners. Work to install Wenea’s EV charging stations was carried out by ODS – a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxford City Council.

Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site is directly connected to National Grid’s high voltage transmission network via a four-mile underground cable, which will deliver 10 MW of power to quickly and simultaneously charge hundreds of EVs without putting additional strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

Pivot Power’s innovative network can be expanded to key locations throughout Oxford to decarbonise public and private transport, taxis and commercial fleets, supporting Oxford’s net zero 2040 target, as well as providing infrastructure for the pilot Zero Emission Zone – a first-of-its-kind scheme that applies fees to any non-electric vehicle entering the central zone. A substation has already been installed at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot, ready to support the company’s plans to introduce over 100 electric buses in the coming two years.

As part of the project, Energy Superhub Oxford has also supported the decarbonisation of Oxford City Council’s fleet of maintenance vehicles, managed by ODS. In total, Energy Superhub Oxford has contributed almost £900,000 towards the procurement of 40 EVs, including cars, vans, road sweepers, tipper trucks and the city’s first all-electric bin lorry.

BLUEPRINT FOR URBAN DECARBONISATION

Energy Superhub Oxford will provide a blueprint for cities around the world to simultaneously scale up green transport, power and heating, pushing new frontiers in the race to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

The £41 million urban decarbonisation project delivered by Pivot Power, together with a consortium of global partners and part-funded by the UK government, will unlock significant emissions reductions across power, heat and transport as part of the programme to decarbonise Oxford by 2040 – saving 10,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to taking over 2,000 cars off the road, increasing to 25,000 tonnes by 2032.

Matt Allen, CEO and Co-Founder of Pivot Power, said: “Urban decarbonisation is ground zero for the immediate emissions reductions needed to tackle the climate crisis. Energy Superhub Oxford provides a vision of the future, today. By delivering a world-leading project that cuts emissions across transport, power and heat, we are breaking new ground to help the UK reach net zero sooner.”

THE WORLD’S LARGEST HYBRID ENERGY BATTERY STORAGE SYSTEM

 

Today also marks the activation of Energy Superhub Oxford’s cutting-edge hybrid battery system, developed by Pivot Power, which will underpin local and national clean power systems and support the UK’s transition towards a zero-carbon energy system.

The battery system, which stores renewable energy at times of high supply, will provide essential flexibility to the UK’s grid as renewable energy is scaled up. During periods when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, the battery will discharge, helping to ensure electricity is secure and reliable throughout the day. This will be essential if the UK is to reach its goals of 50GW of offshore wind and 70GW of solar capacity by the 2030s, as well as fully decarbonising electricity by 2035.

It combines a 2MW/5MWh vanadium flow battery from energy storage leader Invinity Energy Systems with a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion battery from global technology company Wärtsilä to deliver an innovative energy storage solution that can balance the intermittency of renewable energy. The system will be controlled and managed by Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform and optimised by Habitat Energy’s AI-enabled battery trading system.

Take a 360 interactive tour of the battery site

ACCELERATING NET ZERO PLANS FOR CITIES

Pivot Power plans to deploy up to 40 Energy Superhubs across the UK, with the next two projects already underway in Coventry and Sandwell, to the northwest of Birmingham. Once complete, the network could provide almost 10% of the energy storage that the UK is predicted to require by 2035. As the flagship Superhub city, Oxford is leading by example to show how ambitious local councils can accelerate their net zero plans. The city recently set out its plans to reach net zero by 2040 and reduce emissions by 40% by 2030.

Energy Superhub Oxford has also supported the installation of over 60 ground source heat pumps for social housing properties in Oxford, helping to alleviate the reliance on fossil fuel-based heating that has pushed energy prices to record levels and placed increased strain on working families. Residents who have already received ground source heat pumps in Oxford have reported running cost savings of over 50%. The project is also demonstrating the use of remote control to target times when renewable energy is most plentiful and lowest carbon. This approach will reduce future electricity bills as heat pump installations scale from thousands to millions over the next decade.

Councillor Imogen Thomas, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice, Oxford City Council, said: “Oxford has a history of being ambitious as we look to adopt new and exciting transport approaches in our city. Redbridge was the location of the country’s first full running Park & Ride in 1973, and now almost 50 years later, we are home to Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub. In order to achieve a Zero Carbon Oxford by 2040 we need to encourage uptake in electric vehicles, and drivers want to know that they can charge their vehicles quickly and efficiently. The completion of Energy Superhub Oxford is an exciting step for our city and the future of EV charging.”

CHARGE POINT OPERATOR QUOTES

Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned, said: “The launch of Fastned’s station at Energy Superhub Oxford, our 12th station in the UK, today marks another important milestone in our mission to revolutionise the charging experience for British EV drivers, by giving them electric freedom.

“Since we opened the UK’s first public ultra-rapid charging station in Sunderland in 2019, Fastned has been committed to using our experience from across Europe to accelerate the EV revolution in the UK. Just a month ago, drivers started using our first station in London, and in May we opened the largest ultra-rapid station in Scotland in Hamilton.

“We are looking forward to opening many more of our distinctive stations powered by energy derived from sun and wind, offering fast, reliable, consumer-friendly charging, across the UK in the coming months.”

Jose Contreras, Head of Wenea UK said “Wenea’s objective is to enable electric mobility for everyone in order to reduce overall emissions. Transport decarbonisation will only be achieved through the collaboration of public and private transport. This project in Redbridge Park and Ride is the perfect example. Wenea’s offer will cater for electric vehicle users with dwell times of several hours, typically commuters or tourists who prefer to leave their EVs in Redbridge and enter the city via public transport.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

To arrange interviews and for other information, please contact:

Caroline Dobbin               caroline.dobbin@greenhouse.agency                     +44 (0) 7971 255 843

Kiran Athwal                     kiran.athwal@greenhouse.agency                          +44 (0) 7891 122 579

Additional quotes

Roisin Quinn, Director of Customer Connections at National Grid Electricity Transmission, said: “The Energy Superhub Oxford is an example of how our transmission network can act as a catalyst for the decarbonisation of society.

The high voltage connection provides the power to help electrify transport and reduce emissions, as well as deliver a battery storage facility to help manage peaks and troughs in demand for electricity – making the electricity system more efficient and keeping costs down for consumers.

We’re proud to have played our part and congratulations to all those involved.”

Rob Saunders, Director of the ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution’ challenge programme at Innovate UK, said: “The Energy Superhub Oxford project demonstrates the massive potential of creating integrated local energy systems, tailored to local needs, that will help cities and regions cut carbon in ways that work for communities and consumers. Our funding aim has been to help trial projects that are scalable and replicable, and it is great to see the Superhub concept rolling out to other areas.”

Larry Zulch, CEO at Invinity, said: “Energy Superhub Oxford illustrates the vital role energy storage in general and flow batteries in particular will play in the UK’s shift to renewable energy. To reach net zero targets, the UK is forecast to require up to 24,000 MW of long-duration energy storage of multiple types and configurations. This project demonstrates that flow batteries coupled with lithium-ion battery storage create a high performance system that benefits from the unique characteristics of each technology.”

Kenneth Engblom, Vice President of Europe and Africa, at Wärtsilä Energy, said: “Shifting great power systems to net zero whilst ensuring that the lights stay on is an incredibly complex task. The hybrid battery is solving these problems at multiple levels, creating a smarter system that is able to supercharge the UK’s path to net zero. Wärtsilä’s technology is the cornerstone of this system, helping to support decarbonisation across the entire country.”

Andrew Luers, CEO of Habitat Energy, said: “The transition to net zero is a vital, but deeply complex challenge. We founded Habitat Energy to help solve the difficulties of energy dispatch in a renewables-based energy system and are incredibly proud to be operating this world-first project, especially in our original hometown of Oxford. Habitat’s optimisation of the Cowley battery shows what is possible, all while creating value for our partners, the community and the UK.”

Sophie Hearn, Engineering Operations Manager, ODS, said: “Our Highways Team have been working on behalf of Wenea and Cleaner EV to install new electric charging points at Redbridge Park & Ride. This work will provide convenient electric charging facilities for residents and visitors to help reduce their carbon footprint.”

About the project partners

About Pivot Power

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, creates the low carbon infrastructure needed to future-proof our electricity system, integrate more renewable energy, and provide scalable capacity for electric vehicle charging. By creating a nationwide network of Energy Superhubs – combining big batteries and high-volume power connections – we are enabling rapid electric vehicle charging on a mass scale, powered by low carbon energy sources. A map of all our proposed Energy Superhubs can be found at: www.pivot-power.co.uk

About Energy Superhub Oxford

Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is one of three demonstrator projects part-funded by the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund through the “Prospering from the Energy Revolution” programme, which is enabling innovation in smart local energy systems. The programme is delivered by Innovate UK – part of UK Research and Innovation – and contributed £10.3 million to the ESO project.

ESO – a collaboration between Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Invinity, Kensa, Oxford University, and Oxford City Council – will showcase rapid electric vehicle charging, hybrid battery storage, low-carbon heating, and smart energy management to improve air quality and accelerate Oxford’s zero-carbon journey. https://energysuperhuboxford.org/

About Fastned

Fastned has been developing rapid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles across Europe since 2012. Fastned’s mission is to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. Based in Amsterdam, the company currently has 208* charging stations in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Switzerland. The company specialises in developing and operating fast charging infrastructure where drivers can charge their electric vehicle with up to 300 miles of range in 20 minutes before continuing their journey. Fastned is listed on Euronext Amsterdam (ticker AMS: FAST).

* Fastned’s network is expanding rapidly. For up-to-date station count per country, see https://fastnedcharging.com/hq/investor-relations/

About Wenea

Wenea is a charging service company for electric vehicles that provides smart charging solutions. Wenea’s mission is to lead the transition to sustainable mobility with the goal of Zero Emissions. In order to achieve this, Wenea is deploying the largest ultra-rapid charging network across different countries, which any user can access from their mobile application. Wenea offers a complete portfolio of solutions for companies, individuals, and public bodies in different environments: highway, urban, workplaces and home.

Find out more about Wenea at: https://wenea.com/uk

About Invinity Energy Systems plc (AIM:IES)

Invinity is a world-leading flow battery company, active across North America, the UK, mainland Europe, Australasia, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Developed specifically for high-utilisation applications, Invinity’s highly scalable, factory-built flow battery products make low-carbon renewable generation reliable and can run continually with no degradation, charging, and discharging for over 20 years. Energy storage systems based on Invinity’s batteries are safe, reliable, and economical, and range in size from less than 250 kilowatt-hours to tens of megawatt-hours.

The company has a portfolio of more than 40 energy storage projects already in operation worldwide and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and London, UK with regional presence in the USA, South Africa and China. Invinity Energy Systems plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:IES).

https://invinity.com/

About Wärtsilä Energy

Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage, and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability, and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.

https://www.wartsila.com/energy

About Habitat Energy:

Habitat Energy exists to support the efficient, flexible use of renewable energy and to encourage investment in a low carbon world. Habitat provides a state-of-the-art optimisation and trading platform for grid-scale battery storage, with full route-to-market capability for wholesale and balancing markets in the UK, US, and Australia.

By fusing artificial intelligence with human know-how, Habitat helps maximise value by delivering energy to the right marketplace, at the right time, all the time. Habitat’s teams of smart data scientists and savvy commercial experts utilise their deep expertise in algorithmic trading, batteries and electricity markets to operate, and optimise value for, flexible assets around the world.

https://www.habitat.energy/

[1] Assumes 350 cars charging at 7kW and 50 cars charging at 150kW.

[2] https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/Keeping-36-million-electric-vehicles-on-the-mov

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