Is it easy to get an electricity connection for EV chargers?
May 20, 2020
In short, it entirely depends on your location.
Over the past year, Rock Power Connections have been involved in an increasing number of electrical connections for Electric Vehicle [EV] charger projects. These projects have covered each of the different Distribution Network Operator [DNO] regions and have ranged from fairly small supplies for a single rapid charger through to more considerable supplies for banks of rapid chargers.
As an Independent Connections Provider, we are very experienced in working with the DNOs to identify where we may connect to their network to obtain an electrical supply for a site. When the load is for Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers, we have found the process to be more inconsistent and more challenging.
Our findings are:
#1.THE APPLICATION PROCEDURE STARTS POSITIVELY. Each of the DNOs’ new connections teams proactively make contact and talk us through how easy it should be. This is akin to applications for non-EV charger sites.
#2. THE INFORMATION REQUIRED AT THE APPLICATION STAGE VARIES. Once the application hits the design engineer who is responsible for compiling the quotation, the experience varies. Some design engineers require certain paperwork to be completed, some require very specific technical data, some require Single Line Diagrams (SLDs) and some require a site visit.
#3. THE TIMESCALES CAN BE LONG AND UNQUANTIFIED. Whilst there are regulatory timescales around how long a quotation should take, this can depend upon whether the offer is being provided at Low Voltage, 11kV, 33kV or whether major works are required.
The DNO may need to obtain information from you, which can delay things. Very quickly, you can find yourself with little idea of how long an offer will take. At Rock Power Connections, we have found this can range from 3 weeks to over 4 months even with us taking a very proactive approach to ‘push’ the application through.
#4. THE OUTCOME CAN BE SURPRISING; small loads requested in urban areas may not be available, yet larger load requested in remote areas may be. It comes down to whether the capacity is available locally and whether the number and type of EV chargers will affect the network harmonics.
#5. THE DESIGN ENGINEERS ARE OPEN TO DISCUSSION. When a site has required upgrade works to supply a couple of EV Chargers, the Design Engineer has helpfully checked whether additional chargers could be permitted. In other situations, where the full load has not been available, the Design Engineer has asked whether we want a reduced load locally or a larger load from further away.
The popularity of EVs has soared, but with this accelerated growth has come the requirement of new processes, which are not yet completely efficient. The biggest challenges will be whether a particular area has enough capacity and whether an ungraded or new electrical supply can be provided at a pace required to meet this level of growth. From experience, persistence and consistency is key to success.
HOW CAN ROCK POWER CONNECTIONS HELP?
If you have a project which involves EV charging, we would be happy to help. Be it a new development with EV charger requirements to fulfil planning permission conditions; the installation of EV chargers at existing premises; or workplace chargers for your commercial fleet or employees. We can offer simple advice on the best approach and provide a full design and installation service for both the connection and the EV chargers.
For more information or to request a free, no obligation, competitive quote, please email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01905 456384 or click here to submit your enquiry.