Electrify America, SMUD team up on electric vehicles, energy demand

Electrify America is investing $1.3 million in the Energy StorageShares program developed by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The investment will help Electrify America reduce its overall energy-related costs and lower the company’s impact on Sacramento’s electrical grid.

“This first-of-a-kind program will help address peak energy demands, minimize impacts to the grid and support the expansion of EV charging in our community,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard. “A program like this also continues to move us toward a carbon free economy by enabling higher levels of renewable generation to be integrated with the grid.”

Through SMUD’s innovative Energy StorageShares program, Electrify America will purchase an interest in an energy storage program with the utility company. This will help reduce Electrify America’s demand charges and increase the overall grid benefit of its energy storage. Demand charges are presently the largest operating cost barrier to public EV infrastructure deployment, representing up to 80 percent of a given electricity bill.

The program incentivizes placement of energy storage in grid-stressed locations in Sacramento while providing Electrify America with potential reductions in demand charges for its SMUD service territory-located sites. SMUD plans to site the utility battery in a location where significant load growth is expected over the next five years.

“The Energy StorageShares program developed by SMUD offers an innovative approach to invest in the electrical grid here in Sacramento and lowering our costs in lieu of installing individual battery storage systems at each of our 12 electric vehicle charging stations powered by SMUD,” said Robert Barrosa, director of utility strategy and operations at Electrify America. “This is a win-win opportunity benefiting all parties involved and a great example of how utilities and the private market can work together to further the deployment of EV infrastructure. Plus, this further supports our Green City investment in the Sac-to-Zero program of an EV infrastructure, zero-emissions car sharing, electric buses and shuttles.”

Under this agreement, Electrify America will receive recurring credits for the demand reduction needs at the company’s 12 electric vehicle charging stations powered by SMUD in the Sacramento area.

The Green City program called Sac-to-Zero—which includes two new car sharing services, new ZEV bus and shuttle routes, and state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging systems throughout the region—is part of Electrify America’s Green City Initiative, which was announced by the company and city officials in 2017.

Electrify America’s Green City Sac-to-Zero investments include:

Car Sharing – Electrify America has invested in two ZEV car share services within the City of Sacramento which complement each other with different service areas while providing the same easy access:
GIG Car Share – Free Float Car Sharing: GIG Car Share, which is managed by AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah, offers free float car share service in Sacramento.
Envoy – Round Trip Car Sharing: Electrify America also invested in a program with Envoy Technologies, a community-based EV car-share service based at residential buildings as an amenity. Vehicles can be reserved, picked up and returned to the same location.
ZEV Bus/Shuttle Services – Electrify America invested in a ZEV bus service and an on-demand micro-shuttle service. To support powering the fleets, Electrify America is installing charging stations with ultra-fast chargers to power each service.
Electric Bus Service – Causeway Connection: Electrify America’s investment enhances bus service between Sacramento and the City of Davis with 12 new electric buses that will run from the main campus to the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento. The shuttle will be co-run by Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) and the Yolo County Transportation District.
On-Demand Electric Shuttle Service – Franklin Region: Electrify America has provided the funding for battery electric shuttles to replace the existing internal combustion engine shuttles that currently operate on this SmaRT Ride service operated by Sacramento Regional Transit.
EV Charging Infrastructure – Twelve of Electrify America’s 14 ultra-fast EV charging stations in the Sacramento region available to the public are powered by SMUD. The charging stations have a range of power from 50 kilowatts (kW), which is most commonly used in today’s electric vehicles, to 150 and 350kW. This future-proof charging technology will meet the needs of all electric vehicles available today and the advanced EVs expected as early as 2020. The Electrify America ultra-fast charging technology can deliver energy up to 20 miles of range per minute.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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