Reuse of Electric Vehicle Batteries for Solar Energy Storage

Summary

SCH Number
2020060627
Lead Agency
Energy Commission (California Energy Commission)
Document Title
Reuse of Electric Vehicle Batteries for Solar Energy Storage
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received
Posted
6/30/2020
Project Applicant
RePurpose Energy, INC.

Document Description
Under grant Agreement EPC-19-039, the California Energy Commission will provide a grant of $3,000,000 to RePurpose Energy, INC. to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage microgrid system at a food co-op grocery store in Grass Valley, California. The system will incorporate second-life batteries that were originally used in Nissan electric vehicles (EV). The goal of this project is to validate the used EV batteries' ability to integrate solar PV and to provide energy resilience to the food co-op. RePurpose Energy will also conduct a series of laboratory-based cycling tests to identify the degradation rate and effective useful life of used EV battery cells. The activities at different locations are summarized in the “Project Location” section above. Beneficiaries will include the food co-op in Grass Valley, other utility customers who eventually may buy electricity storage devices using second-life EV batteries; California’s electric utilities and their customers (i.e., ratepayers); along with the public at large and the environment.

Contact Information
Tanner Kural
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-48
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone : (916) 327-1542

Location

Cities
Fairfield Grass Valley San Jose
Counties
Nevada Santa Clara Solano
Other Location Info
290 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley / Nevada County Installation of solar photovoltaic arrays on roofs and two carports, with a lithium-ion battery energy storage system. 149 Grobric Court, Suite E, Fairfield / Solano County Laboratory testing at RePurpose's testing and manufacturing site One Washington Square, ENGR 349, San Jose / Santa Clara County Laboratory research - San Jose State University, electrical grid emulation testing using computer simulation software

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15301, 15303
Reasons for Exemption
In addition, CEQA exemptions under California Code of Regulations, title 14, sections 15301 and 15303 apply. Section 15301, “Existing Buildings,” covers the operation, maintenance, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, involving negligible or no expansion of existing or former use. All of the laboratory, manufacturing, and office-type work falls under Section 15301. The installation at the food co-op also falls under this section. Section 15303, “New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures,” covers construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures; and installation of small new equipment and facilities in small structures. The additions of solar PV panels, storage batteries, and ancillary equipment under the grant project fall within these parameters. The City of Grass Valley’s Community Development Department staff issued a letter, dated March 17, 2020, regarding the PV and battery storage installation at the food co-op in Grass Valley. The Department concluded that the installation would qualify for CEQA exemptions under California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15301, Existing Facilities, and California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15303, New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures.
Exempt Status
Statutory Exemption
Type, Section or Code
21080.35
Reasons for Exemption
The project involves testing, design, and installation of an integrated solar photovoltaic energy storage system that incorporates second-life batteries from electric vehicles. The testing and manufacturing will take place at an existing laboratory operated by RePurpose Energy in Fairfield, California. The installation will be at the BriarPatch Cooperative in Grass Valley, California. Additional analytical and/or design work will occur at existing laboratories and/or offices in San Jose and Davis. The solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftop of the BriarPatch Cooperative and on two carports over part of the parking lot, and the rest of the system, are exempt under California Public Resources Code section 21080.35. This statute exempts from CEQA “the installation of a solar energy system on the roof of an existing building or at an existing parking lot” fitting certain characteristics, which this project fits. (For this project, no trees will be removed. Associated equipment will not occupy more than 500 square feet of ground surface, and the site of the associated equipment does not contain plants protected by the Native Plant Protection Act.)

Attachments

Notice of Exemption
2020060627_Reuse of Electric Vehicle Batteries   PDF 315 K

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