Seven 2MWh batteries to support fast chargers at service stations where grid is weak

National Highways has awarded an £8 million contract to Ameresco to install battery storage at seven motorway service areas where the grid supply is too weak for high-powered charging infrastructure. The seven storage systems, procured using Crown Commercial Services Heat Networks and Electricity Generation Assets (HELGA) dynamic purchasing, will temporarily bridge the gap in areas where the grid does not support rapid charging. With battery support, the aim is that all the motorway service areas will have at least six high-powered, open access chargepoints by the end of 2023.
The government agency says Ameresco is on track to have all seven systems installed by the end of September 2023.
The sites are:
• Beaconsfield on the M40
• Corley on the M6 Northbound
• Clacket Lane on the M25, both Eastbound and Westbound
• Maidstone on the M20
• Taunton on the M5 Northbound
• Tebay on the M6 Northbound
The 2MWh battery systems will each be housed in a 40ft shipping container and will support 150kW electric vehicle chargepoints at those motorway service areas. The batteries will store energy in quiet periods, such as overnight, to provide high-power charging at busy times, until these motorway service areas can obtain increased power directly from the grid and roll out more chargepoints.
Ameresco will work closely with service area operators Extra, Roadchef, Welcome Break and Westmorland to support them making applications to the local authority for planning permission and to the distribution network operators to secure permission to connect the storage to the grid.
c7d78a144c369eb58cdc6a4a63fd50bbc6f1db5fMalcolm Wilkinson, Head of Energy for National Highways, said: “We are working differently and innovating to support the switch to zero emission journeys. Whilst we have limited control over the number of petrol and diesel cars on the network, by supporting the expansion of the high-powered chargepoints network, we hope to increase EV drivers’ confidence for all types of journeys, both long and short.
“These new energy storage systems and the high-powered chargers they supply will help ensure that motorists are unlikely to be caught without somewhere to charge, which is a fantastic move for drivers and the environment accelerating the speed in which we transition to new electric vehicles.”
Mark Apsey, managing director, Ameresco Ltd, said: “We are excited to be working with National Highways installing Energy Storage Systems across the UK’s motorways for the roll-out of high-speed EV chargers. These systems will facilitate the uptake of EVs by creating the infrastructure needed for people to switch with confidence. Transport accounts for around 27% of UK GHG emissions and it is imperative we switch as quickly as possible if the UK is to meet its target to decarbonise by 2050.”