Electrify America Plans a Fully Renewable 75-Megawatt Facility

·3 min read
Photo credit: ElectrifyAmerica
Photo credit: ElectrifyAmerica
  • The Volkswagen-owned EV developer teams up with wind and solar energy company Terra-Gen to meet its goal of a net zero carbon footprint.

  • In addition to increasing renewability, the new solar facility will enable Electrify America to increase its annual output by 225,000 MWh.

  • Electrify America is in cycle three of a four cycle plan, with current electrification strategies divided between a massive California market and the rest of the nation.

The future is here! At least that’s what Electrify America’s new 100% renewable energy-sourced EV charging network looks like. Teaming up with energy provider Terra-Gen, Electrify America has announced plans to build a solar powered energy generation project in San Bernardino County, California.

“The new solar project is expected to generate 75 Megawatts (MW) per hour at peak solar capacity or an estimated annual production of 225,000 Megawatt hours,” Electrify America said. “It is projected to produce enough 100% renewable energy annually to more than offset the energy currently delivered on an annualized basis to Electrify America’s customers charging on its extensive network.”

Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN - Getty Images
Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN - Getty Images



The plan, named Electrify America Solar Glow 1, is set to be in use by mid-2023 and projects big changes for the charging market. Not only does the plan aim to have a net-zero carbon footprint, but it aims to become the largest open EV fast-charging network in North America to enter into a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA).

How exactly does this deal work? Electrify America and Terra-Gen have struck a 15-year VPPA, in which Electrify America is paid a fixed price for developing and ultimately selling Terra-Gen’s energy to customers. Should market rates for electricity fall, Terra-Gen is still required to pay the agreed take-off price. Similarly, the energy provider will be obligated to share portions of revenue if the energy is sold above the agreed rate.

Electrify America is not taking a business-as-usual approach with its new goal. The company plans on buying and retiring all government bundled environmental certifications linked to the new solar project, in a move that shies away from unbundled and third-party supplied certificates. One supplier of bundled certificates will be Solar Energy Generating Systems IX plant, the world's longest-running solar thermal energy facility.

“In aggregate, these 100% renewable energy commitments address Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions for all energy delivered to our customers, and amount to an estimated 2 million metric tons in avoided CO2 emissions over 15 years—comparable to the carbon sequestered by planting nearly 40 million trees,” said Jigar Shah, head of energy services at Electrify America.

As a part of the overarching four-cycle plan, Electrify American is currently in cycle three, which will run through 2024 and has a primary goal of nationally expanding a DC fast charging network. Though the new facilities are a year out, Electrify America is leading the way in creating North America’s largest charging network, something we’re already seeing the benefits of.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned