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Electrifying an underground multi-tenant parking lot 

 1h video – 20min presentation – 40 minutes Q&A - French 

Hervé De Ruytter - Asset Manager at Fidentia - and Philippe Stegen - Manager of Business Unit “Electricity” at Deplasse & Associates - will talk about the steps and challenges they faced throughout the installation of 60 EV stations in the underground parking of the Solaris office building in Brussels:

  • The steps they followed from the decision to install EV charging stations up to their installation
  • The challenges they faced throughout the process: technical, security, insurance, contractual, and ROI
  • Their ideas about how to manage their usage by tenants

About Solaris

Solaris (13400 m2) is the first "green" building in Belgium:

  • Geothermal energy
  • Photovoltaic panel batteries on the roof and facade of the building
  • Energy optimization to be self-sufficient in electricity
  • Modular and scalable energy distribution system (Canalis)
  • In the -2nd floor of the parking, every other parking space is equipped with a charging station

What we learned from the session:

The project was initiated by listening to the needs of both the building's tenants and the real estate market.

  • Questionnaire sent to tenants to identify their needs regarding the building.
  • Contacted Deplasse bureau to conduct a feasibility study:
    • Identifying the tenants' profiles
    • Analyzing the building from various perspectives: budget, security, regulations, energy
    • Evaluating different scenarios to compare them

Deployment Strategy for the 60 Charging Stations

  • Budgetary aspects —> avoid overinvesting in electrical connection:
    • Analyzing the energy capacity of the building
    • Prioritizing modular and scalable solutions (Canalis)
  • Safety aspects --> grouping the charging stations at the highest level of the underground parking:
    • Adapting rental leases
    • Contacting the Fire Forum (an organization that establishes best practices for the placement of charging stations)
    • Smoke and heat evacuation system
    • Compartmentalization system
    • Fire detection system
    • Analyzing the risks during visits

  • Regulatory aspects —> contacting the insurer:
    • Choosing whether or not to use sprinklers (fixed automatic water-based extinguishing installation)
    • Little regulation on the subject
    • Some insurers require risk sharing between two insurance companies
    • Cobrace has no impact on electrified parking spaces
    • The ratio law sets stricter guidelines and facilitates decision-making for the placement of charging stations in Brussels
  • Energy aspects —> considering the evolution of battery technology
    • In the near future, EVs will no longer be charged every day
    • 30% ratio of parking spaces with a charging station

The Business Model and the Two Main Levers for ROI

  • Charging a usage fee that covers the depreciation of the charging stations (fixed annually)
  • Activating fees based on the type of charging station usage (variable fees):
    • Payment for the amount of energy used
    • Payment for the amount of time the parking space is occupied

What type of charging stations was chosen?

  • Studied the building's consumption peaks and user needs.
  • Demonstrated that the charging stations should be a maximum of 22 kW.
  • Fast charging stations for outdoor parking spaces

How to Choose the Right Charging Station Supplier?

  • Watch out for interoperability issues to avoid being tied to one installer.
  • Find suppliers independent of operators to guarantee quality and anticipate future maintenance.
  • Centralized management system.
  • No proprietary protocol for operating the charging stations (an open system to add more stations in the future without replacing the rest of the installation).