Solar-assisted electric car charging stations break ground in Tennessee | The American Ceramic Society

Solar-assisted electric car charging stations break ground in Tennessee

The Department of Energy is teaming up with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Oak Ridge National Lab to make it easier than ever to charge electric vehicles.

Last week, the Electric Power Research Institute broke ground on one of Tennessee ‘s first solar-assisted charging stations for electric vehicles in Knoxville. Chattanooga and Nashville are next in line.

“In this market, if anybody wants to drive an electric vehicle, Tennessee will be one of the places in the United States where they can,” says James Ellis, spokesman for TVA.

In addition to the solar charging stations, the DOE is giving away 1,000 home-based chargers. And TVA is looking to build 60 direct current fast chargers across the state.

The plug is standardized, which means it will work with the Nissan, GM Volt and all automotive manufactured vehicles for the United States.

The charging stations will be set up so that they use the sun to generate power needed to offset the effects of the charging during peak power demand periods. While vehicles are charging, the stationary batteries and smart grid controls will provide additional localized support to mitigate any impacts on the power system.

The TVA Fact Sheet (PDF) also discusses re-use of automotive lithium batteries stating, “Stationary battery storage will provide additional localized grid support to mitigate the impacts of charging multiple vehicles in one centralized location. Stationary storage will also provide future opportunities to re-use automotive batteries that are no longer ideal for vehicles. These batteries may have 60 to 70 percent life left in them and can be used to support the power grid.”