Gogoro battery-swapping stations now form virtual power plant in Taiwan
Taiwan’s micro-mobility company Gogoro has partnered with Italy’s Enel X to combine thousands of battery swapping stations into one virtual power plant. The partners claim the VPP already holds 1,300 ‘GoStations’ with another 1,200 scheduled for network deployment shortly.
By mid-2023, Gogoro and Enel expect the VPP to incorporate all 2,500 stations in Taiwan with the stored batteries on stand-by to balance the grid by either adding or receiving excess energy.
Horace Luke, CEO of Gogoro, said, “time-shifting energy was key to enabling the sustainable transformation of energy and transportation.” He added the rollout announced today was “the first time this technology has been deployed this way in the world, and it creates a new Gogoro revenue stream beyond mobility.”
It follows, however, a pilot project Enel X and Gogoro completed in 2022. Their VPP pilot in Taiwan demonstrated that the Gogoro network could safely pause charging if there was a grid imbalance or provide energy back to the grid as demand required. Once the demand subsided, the VPP sent a signal to the network to restore grid consumption. As Jeff Renaud, Head of Enel X Asia and Oceania, explains, the Enel X platform aggregates “thousands of these ‘new energy’ assets into a resource that can help balance the intermittency of large-scale renewable power stations”. Gogoro adds that these V2G operations were performed without causing interruptions to customers coming to swap their e-scooter batteries.
The companies have therefore deployed nearly 1,300 GoStations across more than 500 locations this month and plan to deploy more than 2,500 GoStations in total across 1,000 locations by mid-2023 to support grid efficiency and stability in real-life.
The grid operator on board is the Taiwan Power Company (TPC). Its president Yao-Ting Wang said Enel and Gogoro contributed to TPC’s Energy Trading Platform. It would further “allow organizations like Gogoro to be active contributors of energy in Taiwan and we encourage more businesses to participate through professional aggregators like Enel X, to work together towards Taiwan’s renewable energy future.”
“As new distributed resources are built to electrify and decarbonize our energy use, VPPs will unlock greater sustainability impacts and improved financial returns by connecting these assets to the broader energy system,” added Enel’s Renaud.
Gogoro is an electric scooter manufacturer founded in Taiwan in 2011. The company is also known for its sharing services and early rollout of battery swapping stations. Beyond Taiwan, the company is looking to establish networks in India and China and recently completed an IPO in the United States.
Enel X Global Retail is the energy services business line of Italy’s Enel Group.