EPRI and TVA to build integrated solar-assisted electric charging station

RP news wires
Tags: energy management

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) held a groundbreaking ceremony recently for a prototype integrated solar-assisted electric vehicle charging station that will be erected at the institute’s Knoxville, Tenn., research laboratory.

EPRI and TVA undertook the development of the design process with Eaton Corporation as a contractor to create a model-charging facility that will charge electric vehicles quickly and reliably.

When completed in the fall, the test station will produce data that will assist in implementing key components of a smart grid, such as integrating renewables onto the grid, utilizing a battery storage system, assessing the impact on reliability of a distributed resource generation, testing advance metering infrastructure and analyzing electric vehicle supply equipment.

The prototype, also known as a Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station, will provide information on energy usage, the time when the equipment is used, the amount of solar-generated electricity produced and stored, and the potential impact of load clusters – when several vehicles are refueled at the same time -- on distribution system reliability.

“TVA is taking an aggressive approach in embracing electric vehicle technology including the design, development and assessment of this fully-integrated electric-vehicle charging facility,” said Michael Howard, EPRI senior vice president of research and development. “We will work together on this facility which will test the technologies that will be used in the marketplace as electric vehicles play an increasingly prominent role in transportation.”

The facility will be compliant with safety and technical standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) by using a standard plug and the Infrastructure Working Council, an EPRI collaborative of utilities, automakers and vendors working toward a seamless transition to electric transportation.

“The SMART station design being launched here today is a major step in realizing a regional system of clean fuel for electric vehicles,” said Anda Ray, TVA senior vice president of Environment and Technology. “We are looking forward to the positive impact that this project will have to enable a cleaner transportation future with plug-in electric vehicles of all makes and models. With our strong partner in EPRI, we are confident in the success of the SMART station.”

The prototype station at EPRI will be followed by others located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and in the cities of Nashville and Chattanooga as well as an additional one in Knoxville .

The SMART station is being deployed in conjunction with the EV Project, managed by ECOtality North America, and including a number of partners such as the U.S. Department of Energy; the state of Tennessee; TVA; EPRI; ORNL; the cities of Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville; and regional utility partners.

A new report that provides details about the design of the station has been published and is available for download. “Tennessee Valley Authority Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal (SMART) Station Project: Volume 1 – Base Design Report” can be accessed at this link:


About the Electric Power Research Institute
The Electric Power Research Institute Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, non-profit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

About the Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average. 

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