By Max Wilcox, Business Development Manager
PowerFlex an EDF Renewables Company
Arden is a mid-rise condominium development located in the Mission Bay District of San Francisco and PowerFlex’s first major residential project. The company that designed and built Arden, Bosa Development, is not new to Mission Bay. Arden opened in 2016 and is the company’s third mid-rise residential building in the neighborhood, following Madrone, which was completed in 2011. The company’s inaugural presence in the Mission Bay area, Radiance, finished in 2008.
The installation at Arden represents a paradigm shift in the approach to EV charging. With the consistent growth in EV adoption amongst residents at the building, PowerFlex saw an opportunity to leverage its innovative Advanced Load Management (ALM) technology and provide a charging port for every single parking space in the building. While an unfathomable task for most other charging providers in the industry, this endeavor was simply the logical solution for PowerFlex. The first 51 chargers installed were part of a grant by Bay Area Air Quality Management District. While those chargers were being installed, Arden residents requested 31 additional chargers. PowerFlex’s ALM technology allowed 82 stations to be installed to meet the immediate needs of current electric vehicle owners, while simultaneously installing the backbone infrastructure to accommodate the additional 200+ parking spaces that hadn’t been converted to electric vehicles yet.
The future vision that PowerFlex is paving the way for is the seemingly ambitious and forward-thinking idea that perhaps one day all vehicles at the condominium will be electric. CEO of PowerFlex, George Lee, says “It is definitely an ‘if you build it, they will come’ scenario with EV charging today. We see it with all our big customers. As soon as we finish an installation, the EV adoption increases and, in many cases, we need to come back and install more stations. With Arden, we are fully prepared for that. So when more tenants purchase an EV, the infrastructure is already in place and all we have to do is mount the charging station. It’s an approach that’s going to pay dividends for the HOA.” Shortly after the original 82 charging stations were installed, the HOA asked for an additional 58 due to requests from residents, bringing the total to 140 stations installed. Thanks to the innovative design and technology, those 58 new charging stations were installed quickly and effortlessly.
What enables such a large install of charging stations is the PowerFlex ALM technology; a system that enables site hosts to maximize delivery of electricity to EVs while reducing or eliminating the need for costly utility upgrades by managing charging based on driver’s demand, building load, onsite generation, and other variables. PowerFlex’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure installation at Arden is ideal for our ALM. The system rethinks the EV charging station as an adaptable, load-manageable unit that compensates according to the charging requirements of a community of individual electric car owners. The result is simple despite the complexity of the algorithm that is the system’s primary foundation. For the residents of Arden who drive their electric cars to work daily, the result is a worry-free improvement over previous charging systems – a dependable and guaranteed electric fill-up that ensures they’ll never be without transportation in the morning.
With Arden completed, PowerFlex’s relationship with the HOA is well underway and continuing. Recently, PowerFlex finalized terms for a 50-station installation with the same design philosophy as Arden – one charger available for each parking space for the company’s Madrone development.