Australian technology startup Gridcognition has announced a partnership with their first UK-based customer.
Working with Shell to accelerate European EV charging investment
Vehicle electrification is a huge component of the energy transition. It presents significant challenges and a raft of new opportunities for fleet owners and those providing charging infrastructure.
Shell is navigating this transition using Gridcog software to explore different solutions in e-mobility. Shell’s team in the Netherlands are exploring ways in which fleets can contribute to the bottom line via vehicle-to-grid and using Gridcog to accelerate their deployment of fast charging infrastructure at their forecourts, ensuring that they have enough infrastructure to support charging events at peak times.
Importance of vehicle electrification
The EU has mandated carbon emission goals for vehicles, including that by 2035 there is a zero-CO2 emission target for new cars and vans. While the electrification of cars is an important step to reducing anthropogenic climate change, it also presents an opportunity for new income streams for those who are willing to electrify their fleets.
Forecourt electrification projects
One of the challenges with electrifying forecourts is that they often have a limited grid connection and the power required for their fast chargers can easily exceed 10-20x of their normal load. This means that battery storage is often required to assist with ‘peak shaving’ (reducing peak electricity demand on the grid from the fast chargers). Due to expanding customer appetite for fast charging infrastructure, the Shell team use Gridcog to help design what additional energy assets are required to support the rollout of more fast chargers on their forecourts, allowing more of their customers to charge without going over their connection limits.
Gridcog software has enabled Shell to explore new revenue streams with fast chargers and battery storage in their forecourts, including:
- Using excess capacity in the batteries to provide ancillary services to the grid - Ancillary services such as a FRR and FCR in the Netherlands provide grid balancing services to ensure frequency stays within operational limits.
- Exposing the battery assets to trade in wholesale markets - Batteries can charge when wholesale prices are low, typically this coincides with periods of high renewable generation or low demand, and then discharge when they’re higher.
- Network tariff optimisation - Network tariffs in the Netherlands have variable demand charges, and battery storage can help reduce these charges.
Instead of moving forward with a traditional site design process, using Gridcog, Shell was able to model out hundreds of different scenarios - both in terms of asset sizing and also the commercial structures and markets that these assets could participate in.
“If we didn’t use the Gridcog software we would have gone for a more traditional site design. Gridcog helped us model out various scenarios and we realised that a small change in site architecture and commercials strengthened our business case significantly.” Anitha Immaneni, Team Manager Charging System Integration and E-Mobility, Shell.
Fleet electrification projects
The Shell team in Europe has also been using Gridcog to guide large scale fleet electrification projects. “What is interesting about large fleets of vehicles, in particular delivery vehicles, is that they can spend a significant amount of time parked at depots. As an electric vehicle is in essence an energy asset these fleets can start contributing to the bottom line, especially when aggregated in a pool of assets.” Genna Boyle, Director UK & Europe, Gridcog. Fleets that are aggregated like this may be able to participate in wholesale energy markets and/or ancillary service markets - this means that they’re able to compete with other energy assets, such as batteries. This is especially significant as this is their secondary job (their first is being a vehicle).
“While the provision of flexibility services through Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) face various challenges, I firmly believe that the provision of flexibility through an aggregated pool of DERs (e.g. EVs) can lead to lower cost of energy to consumers, enabling the introduction of renewables through the participation on ancillary services and new forms of value, and value propositions to companies looking to offer integrated solutions. Hence, we are very pleased with Gridcog as it helped us assess the techno-economic feasibility of flexibility for several customer segments and technologies” Daniel Mata Renteria, Mobility Integration Lead, Shell.
To achieve the goals mandated in the EU for carbon emissions, including zero-CO2 emission for new cars and vans by 2035, it’s vital for leaders in the energy sector to be able to navigate the complexity of delivering this infrastructure, and prove that there is a profitable path for these projects to deliver value.
Using Gridcog software, the Shell team are able to consider the full gamut of the techno-economic landscape, allowing them to understand and overcome any hurdles to fleet electrification that could have hampered the successful adoption of these powerful, and more sustainable solutions. The ongoing collaboration with Shell’s e-mobility team in the Netherlands is a key milestone in Gridcog’s continuing expansion into the UK and Europe. We’re thrilled to help facilitate this critical work to continue the decarbonisation of the energy system with such an enthusiastic, thoughtful and friendly team. Thank you, Shell!
Do you have unanswered questions about your clean energy project? Gridcog are working with asset owners and infrastructure innovators in the UK and Europe to delve deeper into the dynamics of their designs. Get in touch to organise a demo of Gridcog software today.