Shell is expanding its reach into the smart power space.
In February it announced the acquisition of virtual power plant (VPP) operator Next Kraftwerke, which remotely connects and manages over 10,000 decentralised energy units across Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. Now it has announced that the VPP will be used in conjunction with battery charging. Shell has joined with Alfen in a pilot to trial an on-site battery-powered system to support ultra-fast electric vehicle charging, using spare battery capacity to sell electricity back to the grid at peak demand via the VPP.
The battery will be housed at Shell’s Zaltbommel forecourt in the Netherlands. It will allow two drivers simultaneously to use the site’s two 175kW charge points. Shell said the pilot would allow enable fast charging at grid-constrained locations where it would otherwise be impossible due to grid constraints.
The company said the pilot could “serve as a blueprint for Shell’s future installation activities”, which includes an aim to grow its global EV network to around 500,000 charge points by 2025.
The Next Krafwerke acquisition is part of a “digitally-enabled integrated power strategy that will help the company in its ambition to become a leading provider of clean Power-as-a-Service,” Shell said, adding that it aims to sell around 560TWh hours of electricity a year by 2030 – twice as much as it sells today.
“The acquisition of Next Kraftwerke will accelerate Shell’s strategy to grow by adding smaller renewable assets to our portfolio. The complementary skills of the two companies will also support utility scale large renewable projects by providing a wide range of hedging and risk management options,” said David Wells, VP Shell Energy Europe.