More charging hubs for electric vehicles are on their way in Dundee following the success and popularity of Greenmarket – and thanks to funding from the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
Next week, the new hub at Olympia multi-storey car park will be fully operational while a third charging zone is hopefully being launched in the summer on Gellatly Street car park too.
It’s part of an exciting move to dramatically increase the number of EV chargers by Dundee City Council, funded by the Scottish Government and in partnership with SWARCO, to further boost its electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Unlike most electric vehicle chargers in other cities, which are on the national grid, it is the sun that will be powering these ones at the new multi-storey sites. This renewable energy solution is the ideal way to charge an electric vehicle which, of course, contributes to the city’s low emission ambitions and supports air quality improvements in the city, as well as being a low carbon method of travel.
Already the EV charging hub at Greenmarket has proved popular and has provided day-time charge points for city centre business owners, workers, shoppers and visitors and, at night, the hubs allows city centre residents safe off-street parking and charging throughout the night.
The 20 new charging points in the Olympia and Gellatly Street car park zones will also do the same once fully operational.
Councillor Mark Flynn, convener of city development at Dundee City Council, explained the importance of having solar powered chargers, or ‘smart charging’: “The hub set-up allows smart charging of EVs, offering the potential to better manage supply and demand on the grid. By installing solar panels and battery storage system it integrates more renewable energy and enable variable charging of vehicles when demand is lower, helping reduce environmental impacts associated with electricity generation.
“It also supports air quality improvements in polluted areas of the city and encourages emission-free journeys in the city centre.”
In total, there will be 20 charge points and spaces (10 at each location) and they will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for visitors’ use by day and residents by night. It will cost 38p (connection fee) and 15p per kilowatt. Those living in the city centre who are part of the Dundee Residents’ Scheme will be able to charge their electric car for free.
One man who knows more than most about the importance of electric vehicles and the introduction of chargers using renewable energy is Jamie Green of SWARCO.
Jamie, head of sales for SWARCO in Scotland, said: “This project has a significant amount of solar and also some battery storage. We can smartly deploy the energy from the sun that is stored in the battery to power the charges – it dramatically reduces impact on the grid.
“We are taking up the entire top floor of the car parks and creating a combination of electric vehicle charging points and parking spaces, there. On the top floor of the car park, it will be completely covered with solar panels.
“These chargers are designed for longer-stay charging, so the idea is that you can plug your car in and go and do a bit of shopping or go to work, and you will come back to a full charge.
“Olympia and Gellatly Street are essentially the same set-up but Gellatly Street will have more solar panels.
“SWARCO and Dundee City Council continues to work together to develop significant infrastructure projects like this one. When you have two organisations that share similar views in wanting to drive home the sustainability message and come together, then projects like this can become a reality.
“It will be a really impactful project – although you won’t be able to see it unless you are charging a vehicle – as it is significant solar site with significant renewable generation. It will be great.”
Transport Scotland has always backed Dundee’s plans to become an electric city. Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “It’s good news that Dundee City Council continues to develop its impressive offering of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in partnership with SWARCO.
“Through Scottish Government and European Regional Development funding, I’m pleased we’ve been able to help finance these exciting new hubs, contributing to our bold commitment to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.”
The multi-storey EV charging hubs project was awarded funding as part of the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund established by Transport Scotland from funds awarded under European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 programme and Transport Scotland funding to support an increased proportion on ultra-low emission vehicles on Scotland’s roads.
The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.scot.gov or follow: @scotgovESIF
How will it work?
- The solar panels are on-top of the car park, see picture above for reference.
- Due to the structural capacity of the carpark, Dundee City Council had to install solar PV ground-mounting buckets.
- It has been calculated that Olympia will have 36 and 44kWp of solar capacity (indictive).
GELLATLY STREET PLAN
- The charge points have a total power requirement of around 440kVa.
- However, Dundee City Council can only obtain a maximum grid connection of 260kVa from the LV network and obtaining an HV connection at this site would be a significant challenge.
- The council therefore hopes to increase the scope of the solar and battery provision at this site to approximately 110kW and 135kW respectively.
- Together with the on-site DLM system, the load will be managed to make best use of energy generated by the solar and stored within the battery.
The AppyWay Smart Parking System
At the car parks, there will be special sensors installed to monitor who is using the charging bays, when and how long for – this is to prevent anyone abusing the parking spaces.
Puck-style sensors will be installed on the ground of the car parks and stand at 20mm high – no taller than the diameter of a one pence piece – at Olympia and Gellatly Street and the information they gather will be passed over the AppyWay cloud from a base station. This gives real-time occupancy data.
The AppyWay Smart Parking System is also in use at Heathrow Airport.
To find out more about the city’s electric vehicle infrastructure or about switching to an electric vehicle, visit Drive Dundee Electric by clicking here.