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Home Columns Sustainability Utrecht: Europe's future Silicon Valley?

Utrecht: Europe’s future Silicon Valley?

Last updated 6 months ago by Michael Darmanin

When someone mentions the words innovation and technology, we might think of a company in Silicon Valley. This is true especially when it comes to electrical cars. However, you might want to add Utrecht to the list. A unique project is tested here. It’s called the Smart Solar Charging project.

It’s a car! It’s a battery! It’s battery on wheels!

The idea behind the project is simple. It begins with a problem. Peaks on the electrical grid and high energy prices are annoying for everyone. Some neighborhoods in Utrecht have solar energy generators which can produce those peaks on the grid. This is where the cars come in. Through the innovative technology, electrical cars store energy from the solar stations. Later, when the energy price rises, the cars release some of that energy back in the grid. An important detail is that the cars are part of shared car system.

Where and how many?

The Smart Solar Charging project began in Utrecht with the help of King Willem-Alexander himself. This was in the spring of 2019, in the Lombok neighborhood. Right now Utrecht implemented the project in 9 districts, with 60 “batteries on wheels” and 300 charging stations.

European recognition

The project was a joint effort. Among the companies and institutions that joined are: Utrecht Sustainability Institute, LomboXnet, Utrecht University, Last Mile Solutions, Jedlix, and others. Their results were acknowledge by the Regiostar Awards, offered by the European Commission. This made Smart Solar Charging one of the top susteinability projects of 2020.

Silviu Alexandru Costea
Silviu Alexandru Costea
Silviu A. Costea is a psychology student with a deep appreciation for beauty, may it be in art, science, nature, or anywhere else. With his passion for writing and experience as an international student, he is dedicated to providing quality content on various topics. He is a keen listener and he is convinced that everyone has a story worth sharing.

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