Iberdrola and Wallbox turn buildings into smart renewable ecosystems

clean energy
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A power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with Spanish utility Iberdrola will help electric vehicle charging solutions firm Wallbox to implement a clean energy project to reduce carbon emissions at its facility and offices in Zona Franca, Barcelona.

As part of the PPA, Iberdrola will install a solar PV plant at Wallbox’s offices to enable the firm to produce, consume and reuse 100% of the energy produced at its plant and offices inà‚ Barcelona’sà‚ Zona Franca.

The project started this April and is expected to be completed by June. Once operational in the second half of 2021, the solar PV facility will produce 1,500 MWh/year for the self-consumption of these facilities and offices, equivalent to the consumption of 500 homes.

The clean energy project will help Wallbox to reduce its energy costs and meet its goal of operating in its facilities with energy autonomy.

In addition, a smart and bi-directional energy management system will be integrated with the solar PV and energy storage plant to be installed at the facilities. The system will optimise the energy generation, storage and use of the grid. Through regeneration, 75% of the energy consumed in the production process is returned to the internal energy grid for reuse.

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Due to the volume of green energy production generated, as well as due to the development of a new generation of nZEB (Zero Energy Building) buildings, the Wallbox plant is a pioneering building with almost zero energy consumption, aligning itself with the trends of the new sustainable engineering, as well as in self-consumption at a global level.

Enric Asunciàƒ³n, CEO of Wallbox, said: “With this unprecedented action in the industry, we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to accelerating the process of adopting cleaner energy in everyday life. Energy consumption around the world is changing at an accelerating pace, which leads us to develop products that promote decarbonisation. Thanks to this agreement, our products will also be manufactured with renewable energy, therefore closing the production circle in the most sustainable way possible.”

Raquel Blanco, global director of Smart Mobility at Iberdrola, adds: “These collaboration formulas, in which Iberdrola invests and allows its customers to save from the outset by producing renewable energy at its facilities, highlight the competitiveness of renewables and continue to open up opportunities for undertaking projects that are transforming the present and future of energy in our country. These long-term power purchase and sale contracts provide stability to customers and have become an optimal tool for managing the electricity supply of large consumers who are committed to clean and sustainable consumption. In this case, we also maximised the infrastructure by taking advantage of the available surface area on the factory roofs, which we combined with an innovative energy efficiency system.”

Wallbox and clean energy transition

The PPA follows a pilot launched by Wallbox in February this year. The EV solutions firm applied a bi-directional charging technology to enable the use of energy stored in electric car batteries to supply part of the surplus energy demand of its corporate offices.

As part of the pilot, Wallbox installed a fleet of Quasar bi-directional chargers and leveraged a fleet of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (EVs).

The EVs are charged at night when energy demand and charges are low, to power the offices during the day. In this way, the building behaves as a smart ecosystem, where its architecture is maximised to capture available solar energy and release or store it on demand through the cars, which act as buffers at times when the building’s energy demand exceeds either the contracted power or that generated by the solar panels.

Eduard Castaàƒ±eda, CPO of Wallbox, adds: “This innovative ecosystem has a dual system of stationary and mobile batteries. The former offer the first line of basic coverage and are configured to charge with a purely renewable energy mix, while the latter squeeze the flexibility capabilities offered by electric vehicles, both for emission-free mobility and as a storage resource with high energy density.

“The benefit is again twofold as Wallbox employees are offered access to a sustainable means of transport, while at the same time the need for power from the grid is reduced, as the vehicles become both generators and storage. The grid becomes more flexible and efficient with the flattening of the generation/consumption curve.”

The intention is to increase the fleet of vehicles and Quasar bi-directional chargers until full energy supply autonomy is achieved. Right now, Wallbox already has 7 of them and the fleet will be increased by 15 additional vehicles.

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