Electrify America signs on for 75 MW of solar, says it commits them to net-zero

Electrify America announced Wednesday that it’s buying into enough solar to more than offset the energy the network delivers to EVs from its charging hardware. 

With a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) formed with Terra-Gen, Electrify America is enabling a new 75-MW Mojave Desert solar facility that will allow its annual energy output to be boosted by 225,000 MWh. 

Electrify America’s project is called Solar Glow 1 and targets a net-zero carbon footprint across the network, with claims that it will become the largest open EV fast-charging network in North America to enter into such a VPPA. 

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 at Electrify America DC fast-charging station

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 at Electrify America DC fast-charging station

EA is already backed by 100% renewable energy, it says, through the purchase of environmental certificates from existing power generation. But the agreement also commits to the goal of “additionality,” EA emphasizes—meaning that it would result in additional renewable energy generation, rather than purchasing from existing sources. With that, it’s purchasing and retiring environmental certificates over a 15-year period, to assure that its move won’t enable other polluters. 

The network plans a groundbreaking for the project in late 2022, with a target operation date of summer 2023. In the meantime it’s also adding its support to the existing SEGS IX solar thermal plant in California’s San Bernardino County. 

Electrify America upscale charging concepts

Electrify America upscale charging concepts

It’s also made moves to put the solar a little closer to customer interface points—with upscale “showcase stations” that will offer solar canopies plus customer lounges, vehicle showcases, and increased security. 

EA remains owned by Volkswagen and was created in the wake of its diesel scandal, as part of a court-mandated settlement. It’s in its third of four cycles mapped out for a $2 billion investment over 10 years. Meanwhile VW has reportedly been seeking another major investor in the attempt to scale up. 

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