EDF Renewables North America has acquired Los Altos, California-based PowerFlex Systems, a pioneer in managed electric vehicle (EV) charging technology. The investment is part of EDF Renewables’ continued strategic growth in the distributed energy market, as reflected by their acquisition of groSolar in 2016 and their partnership with EnterSolar last year.
PowerFlex’s patented technology was incubated out of Steven Low’s NetLab research laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The optimization algorithms and methods were the outgrowth of a broad research program supported by grants from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, ARPA-E, Department of Energy, Southern California Edison, California Energy Commission’s CalSEED program, Caltech’s Resnick Institute, Rothenberg Innovation Initiative, and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator at NREL.
PowerFlex has deployed some of the largest single-site EV charging deployments in the world thanks to their Adaptive Charging Network (ACN) technology. This system enables site hosts to maximize delivery of electricity to EVs while reducing or eliminating the need for costly utility upgrades by managing charging depending on driver’s demand, building load, onsite generation, and other variables.
“For California to meet the 2030 goal of 60% renewable energy and five million EVs, we need to deploy hundreds of thousands of low-cost workplace charging stations that promote daytime charging to prevent curtailment of solar,” said George Lee, CEO of PowerFlex in reference to California’s Duck Curve. “Orchestrating the seamless coordination of variable production from solar with the flexible load from EV charging will be critical to the long-term health of our grid. PowerFlex provides the solution to do exactly that.”
EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions group originates, develops, builds, and operates customer-focused renewable energy projects that incorporate solar, storage, electric vehicle charging, and energy management.
“Our commercial and industrial clients are realizing how important it is to provide cost-effective electric vehicle charging to retain their employees and their customers,” said Raphael Declercq, Executive Vice President, Distributed Solutions & Strategy at EDF Renewables. “By incorporating the PowerFlex technology alongside our existing solar, storage, and energy management offering, we are now able to provide building owners and facility managers with a single energy ecosystem where all assets work in concert to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable carbon-free power when and where it is needed.”
— Solar Builder magazine