On May 26, Luis Ramírez, CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions joined Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and GE employees to unveil the GE Electric Vehicle (EV) Solar Carport in Plainville, Conn. The GE EV Solar Carport Project, one of the most expansive undertakings of its type in North America, uses GE’s new smart EV Charging Stations to charge the electric vehicles.
“We see anywhere you park your electric vehicle as a great opportunity for charging infrastructure,” Ramírez said. “Now we also 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. This is a bright day for EV infrastructure development in Connecticut and the nation.”
“This is innovative technology and it’s right in our backyard,” Governor Malloy 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, a demonstration of the expansive horizon GE envisions for renewable energy within the EV ecosystem, produces the energy equivalent to power 20 homes per year. The average freestanding home uses approximately 7,000 to 10,000 kilowatt-hours per year. With greater than a 25-year lifespan, the EV Solar Carport will annually deliver 125 megawatt-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 50–100 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,” Ramírez said. “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.”
GE Energy Industrial Solutions combined forces 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 using 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,” said T.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 withdraws that energy when needed.