PLAINVILLE, Conn. — General Electric is marrying solar and EVs together with the GE EV Solar Carport Project, which it describes as “one of the most expansive undertakings of its type in North America.”
As part of its Solar Carport Project, GE has built a solar carport in Plainville, Conn. which it unveiled May 26.
“We see anywhere you park your electric vehicle as a great opportunity for charging infrastructure,” said Louis Ramírez CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions. “Now we also aim to lead the future of electrification for electric vehicles with supplied power from the sun. The GE EV Solar Carport provides clean energy alternatives to oil and biofuels, expands our ability to capture the sun’s energy, and helps us deliver a viable EV ecosystem.”
Connecticut Governer Dannel Malloy, who was part of the unveiling ceremony for the Plaineville solar carport, agreed.
Innovative backyard fueling technology
“This is innovative technology and it’s right in our backyard,” he said. “This exciting project will be a blueprint for people all around the country who are interested in developing this type of green solar charging technology, linking renewable energy with electric vehicles and making our lives cleaner and greener. I’m excited to witness the future of this project, and I’m energized about the innovative projects GE is undertaking in our state.”
The GE EV Solar Carport, produces the energy equivalent to power 20 homes per year. The average freestanding home uses approximately 7,000 to 10,000 kWh per year.
With greater than a 25-year lifespan, the EV Solar Carport will annually deliver 125 MW hours via 100 kW DC power.
According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, more than half of American drivers today travel less than 30 miles in a typical day and more than 75 percent travel less than 60 miles. EVs with a range of 50 to 100 miles could easily meet the daily needs of most customers.
“Consumers want the convenience and peace of mind knowing they can get from point A to point B without running out of energy,” adds Ramírez. “GE is working with a number of utilities and municipalities, in the U.S. and abroad, to address this issue of creating a widely distributed network of electric vehicle charging stations. The presence of ubiquitous, Level 2 charging will make consumers far less worried about their car running out of power.”
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Carport can power 13 EVs
GE Energy Industrial Solutions worked with Inovateus Solar LLC, a national solar power distributor and integrator, to install the carport. The companies use solar energy and smart grid technology to fully charge up to 13 electric vehicles per day via six Level 2 GE EV Charging Stations and to power the overhead lighting in the parking lot.
“Our objective with this project is to utilize a mix of installation formats to create a practical on-site ‘lab’ to illustrate a range of design options when creating a solar system,” explainedT.J. Kanczuzewski, executive vice president of Inovateus Solar LLC.
The carport incorporates GE’s infrastructure technology, utilizing GE EverGold* Safety Switches and GE Combiner Boxes along with the GE EV Charging Stations. GE’s core AC equipment safely distributes the power generated from the solar panels. The GE EV Solar Carport connects to the grid, where it deposits extra energy and also withdraws energy when needed.
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