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Gridserve bring a box of tricks to their new Cornwall EV Super Hub

Faced with the challenge that their electric super hubs ‘require vast amounts of power that often requires new, or reinforced, grid connections to support’ Gridserve opted not to join the queue for grid connection and instead turned up at their latest super hub site in Cornwall with an array of technology to render a grid upgrade unecessary.

The most obvious contribution to their energy needs is the solar canopy which generates energy that goes directly to into the 12 EV chargers. They have found that there is a close correlation between the generation of solar energy energy consumption across their chargers over the course of a day.

In addition to the solar, there is 1MW of battery storage on site. At Gridserve’s solar farms and electric forecourts, such batteries act like ‘miniature power plants’, storing energy generated from the solar panels and either delivering it to the EV chargers or, in times of peak demand, selling it back to the grid.

In Cornwall, however, the technology is a simpler. The battery takes small amounts from the grid in moments of low demand, storing it for when it is required to deliver energy to the chargers at the high output they require. This system means the existing grid connection doesn’t require upgrading because it’s unaffected by those local surges in demand.

This new super hub is located at Cornwall Services near Saint Austell and provides six high power, 350kW-capable EV chargers and six low power, 22kW-capable AC chargers, aimed at overnight guests of the adjacent Holiday Inn.

On top of this, Gridserve have recently submitted planning permission to build a solar farm the size of two football pitches next to the services. This would directly connect solar to the battery and chargers, delivering enough zero carbon energy to deliver four million miles of EV driving.

Gridserve’s John Quirk says: ‘In peak summer, Cornwall Services welcomes more than 1,000 vehicles and their occupants every month. The quicker Gridserve is able to deliver awesome EV charging experiences here and elsewhere, the more confident drivers will feel about electric vehicles and the quicker they’ll be willing to make the switch. There is no time to waste.’

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