Gogoro's battery swap GoStations help with power grid stability
Back in 2015, Gogoro proposed setting up a network of battery-swapping stations so that riders of its electric smartscooter no longer had to worry about per-charge range. Now the company operates thousands of them, and has partnered with Enel X to have the network serve as virtual power plants in Taiwan.
"We are entering a new era of smart energy infrastructure, and by integrating the Gogoro Network with the Enel X Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in Taiwan we are providing a new energy resource," said founder and CEO of Gogoro, Horace Luke. "It is the first time this technology has been deployed this way in the world, and it creates a new Gogoro revenue stream beyond mobility."
The basic idea is to have Gogoro's battery hubs dynamically pause the charging of their docked batteries and feed stored energy back to the power grid when demand is high or an imbalance is detected. Once the grid levels out again, a signal is sent out to the Gogoro Network and charging recommences.
Gogoro and Enel X ran a pilot last year to test the setup, and found that the network of battery swapping stations involved in the trial successfully "performed these services without causing any interruptions to Gogoro Network battery swapping customers, demonstrating that the network is an ideal resource to support Taiwan’s energy transition."
Now the partnership has announced the commercial deployment of almost 1,300 GoStations as part of Enel X's VPP, in more than 500 locations throughout Taiwan. By mid-2023, that number will rise above 2,500 across 1,000 locations, though how this translates into potential combined capacity hasn't been revealed.
Enel X currently operates the largest Virtual Power Plant in Taiwan, and sees setups like this as being a vital resource to "help balance the intermittency of large-scale renewable power stations" as the country moves to decarbonize its energy generation.
Indeed, the Taiwan Power Corporation predicts that the energy sharing economy will be worth tens of billions of New Taiwan Dollars, and is calling on more businesses to participate it its Energy Trading Platform "through professional aggregators like Enel X" and "work together towards Taiwan’s renewable energy future."
While Taiwan is home to the vast majority of GoStations, Gogoro does operate networks in several other countries, where the VPP model could be replicated – though Gogoro hasn't revealed any plans for global expansion of the project as yet.
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