Electricity from the utility grid can be an expensive source of power for your new or growing fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), especially if need exceeds local capacity and utility upgrades are needed, or if usage coincides with high-peak hours—or both.
So, it is no surprise that the rising interest in electric fleet vehicles is subsequently driving the growth of microgrids for powering those fleets.
At EnTech Solutions, we’re seeing the demand for microgrids growing along the same trajectory as EVs as a cost-effective option that offers operational savings, resilience, sustainability and scalability for charging.
Microgrid Solutions for EV Charging and Beyond
While the type of microgrid required to support EV charging needs depends on each project’s goals, budget and specifications, the most common microgrid solutions incorporate a renewable energy source—such as solar, wind or renewable natural gas (RNG)—paired with battery energy storage.
With any of these technologies, this type of microgrid provides a variety of benefits:
- Cost savings. In addition to grants and incentives available to offset project costs, a microgrid can provide ongoing cost savings. By using energy modeling software and battery storage, we can create a schedule for shifting your energy use from high-peak hours to off-peak times, reducing your energy costs by as much as 75%. You may also be able to rely less on energy from the utility grid as a result of onsite renewable generation.
- Resilience. Does your company have a plan for unexpected power outages through your local utility? What would the impact be to your fleet? A microgrid can continue to generate energy while storing enough in the battery to meet your demand for 12-24 hours, if needed.
- Sustainability. By tapping into renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, your company can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, creating a more sustainable operating environment. Transitioning your fleet to electric is one way to reduce overall emissions, but it also important to understand what type of energy is powering those EVs. The greatest reduction in emissions comes from powering EVs with clean power.
- Scalability. Many areas have plenty of energy capacity today, but as more companies adopt EV fleets, local utilities may max out their ability to handle the growing demand. A microgrid can be designed to accommodate your energy needs today as well as anticipated future needs without having to rebuild your infrastructure. Many fleets are slowly transitioning to EV, and microgrid solutions can be designed to scale with growing needs.
How to Incorporate Microgrids
Complex energy challenges require robust energy solutions. At EnTech Solutions, we provide a full-solution approach and make the process seamless for you. Instead of contracting with multiple vendors to complete your microgrid project, EnTech Solutions handles every step from assessment through commissioning and beyond with maintenance and optimization services.
Complex doesn’t have to be complicated:
- Streamline your project with one company who will assess your needs, create a conceptual design, provide full construction services and offer equipment service and maintenance after installation.
- Get more than just equipment. EnTech can evaluate additional cost savings through charger management software.
- Benefit from a full range of financing options researched and presented in advance. We research and identify applicable grants and incentives and can offer a variety of pricing models which can include outright purchase/construction, energy as a service (EaaS) or power purchase agreements (PPAs), or leasing the equipment long-term.
Working closely with you, we’ll help determine the right solution for your specific needs. Sometimes that will be a microgrid. Sometimes it may mean something entirely different. Our proprietary modeling software can create multiple iterations to find the right solution based on your goals and desired outcome. You can rest assured that we will help you solve your energy challenges, not just sell you a specific solution.
When is the Right Time to Implement a Microgrid to Support Charging?
The best way to determine if your organization could benefit from a microgrid is to schedule a conversation with an expert at EnTech Solutions to share some basic information and request a conceptual design.
There are several situations that are often ideal for implementing microgrid technology, including:
- EV fleets that run multiple shifts. This often requires a fast charge from a Level 3 DC charging station with battery storage.
- A local utility with power limitations that creates restraints on usage or increases costs.
- Companies that are dedicated to sustainability goals. A microgrid that produces energy from renewable sources can greatly reduce overall carbon emissions.
Which Industries Can Benefit Most from Microgrids?
In addition to ideal circumstances, there are also a handful of industries that typically benefit significantly from incorporating a microgrid into their EV charging strategy, such as:
- Governmental agencies or vendors who choose (or are mandated) to lead by example.
- Companies in U.S. states that have adopted no-emissions zones to curb pollution, like parts of California and other regions.
- Businesses that want to align their image with sustainable practices.