Research project tests ability of renewable energy resources to power electric vehicles
RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 15, 2011) – Progress Energy Carolinas and the City of Raleigh today announced the start of a two-year research-and-development partnership to evaluate solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations.
The project includes two charging stations in Raleigh and connecting them to a solar photovoltaic (PV) array and battery system. When the sun is shining, the PV array produces electricity and charges either a plugged-in vehicle or the on-site battery.
“Solar power and electric vehicles are both rapidly gaining momentum, so it makes sense to test their ability to work together,” said Lloyd Yates, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas. “We are pleased to partner with Raleigh on an innovative project that will advance our understanding of these two technologies. Collaboration is important as we work together to address the challenges of rising costs, growing energy demand and global climate change.”
The research project is located at 616 S. Salisbury St., in the city-owned parking lot near the intersection of South and Salisbury streets in downtown Raleigh. PowerWorks Electric, headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., designed and installed the system. Advanced Energy, based in Raleigh, assisted with the design and will manage ongoing data acquisition and evaluation. GE Industrial Solutions provided the charging equipment. In addition to collecting data, the trial will provide citizens and visitors the opportunity to observe both solar power and plug-in electric vehicles up close.
“The City of Raleigh is pleased to build upon our strong partnership with Progress Energy,” said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. “This project will prove and quantify the economic and environmental advantages of these two technologies and help lead the way for their broader public acceptance and adoption.”
This joint initiative has several research-and-development goals, including:
• Testing the ability to charge plug-in vehicles using electricity generated by the sun and stored in an on-site battery;
• Analyzing the effect on the electric grid from a solar-powered charging station;
• Evaluating electric vehicle battery performance;
• Comparing the side-by-side performance of two solar panel manufacturers; and
• Monitoring the influences of weather on solar power production.
Progress Energy Carolinas and the City of Raleigh will use the two stations to charge their respective fleets of plug-in electric vehicles. Raleigh has installed 18 charging stations, nine for its fleet and nine for public use, and intends to install 15 additional public charging stations by the end of the year. Progress Energy plans to install 200 public and private charging stations through a grant from the Department of Energy. For more information, please visit www.raleighnc.gov/SustainableRaleigh or www.progress-energy.com/plugin.
About Progress Energy:
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com
About the City of Raleigh:
The City of Raleigh provides the complete range of governmental services including police and fire protection, transportation services such as transit and street construction and maintenance, a comprehensive solid waste and recycling program and a vast array of environmental services, water and sanitary sewer services, parks, recreation and cultural services that make Raleigh ubiquitous among America’s “best cities” lists.
Progress Energy Carolinas: 877.641.6397
City of Raleigh: 919.996.3100
PowerWorks Electric: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Energy: 919.857.9052