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New route for electric bus charging

We have been helping Nottingham City Council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) reduce the cost of providing a back-up charging site for the city’s electric bus fleet by offering a new type of connection.

The city council and the LEP have ambitious plans to improve the air quality for residents and have been carrying out one of the largest installations of public and commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging in the country.  Our Nottingham City Planning Team – Emma Cairney, Rhian Movery, Kerry Gillan, Emma Jones and Craig Spencer – have been working on multiple EV charger installations including conventional connections for satellite bus charging units. 

As part of its risk management process, the city council identified the need for a back-up charging supply in case the main Queens Drive charging site floods. 

However, there is a constraint on the network at the additional site and overcoming it by using traditional reinforcement would have cost £120,000, which the council’s Energy Projects Team couldn’t justify for a back-up site. So they asked 11kV Planner Lee Barnett, who is our representative at their quarterly meetings, if there was an alternative. 

Lee said: “Studies showed we could offer 600kVA under normal network operating conditions, but this would need to be reduced to 69kVA under abnormal network operating conditions. To achieve this we’ve installed a Connection Control Panel that sends a signal to the circuit breakers controlling the bus chargers to shed this load when needed, leaving the rest of the site supplies in place for the car park.” 

The reduction in cost when compared to conventional reinforcement allowed the project to go ahead – works began in November 2018 and the connection was energised in February.

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