In my role as Project Development Manager (PDM) for EV projects, I’m responsible for the whole lifecycle of EV Hub projects. From conception right through to delivery, I ensure the successful management of projects through SSE’s agreed gate process. I take an overall lead on project reviews, commercial viability, and buildability of sites, as well as both the social and environmental impact of projects. I have been with SSE for almost two years now, having joined as a Project Development Engineer in November 2021. I then worked my way up to Senior Development Engineer, and I now fulfill my role as Project Development Manager. My favourite part of the job is being involved in all aspects of a project throughout its various key stages.
Regulatory and policy environment: The regulatory landscape surrounding EV charging is evolving rapidly and is often interpreted differently across regions. Businesses must navigate and adapt to new regulations, planning permits, restrictions and incentives, and compliance standards. Staying up-to-date with these requirements and advocating for favourable policies can be challenging. This includes having the foresight to improve and update some of these policies, especially around the accessibility of our hubs.
Location and offering: Choosing the right locations for EV charging hubs is critical. Hubs need to be strategically placed to serve high-traffic areas and accommodate the needs of various types of EV users. For EV charging hubs, the user experience is essential for widespread EV adoption. Businesses need to provide convenient, reliable, and fast charging services in order to encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles.
Business integration: Integrating EV charging infrastructure and SSE into existing business operations. The decision to move forward as a large-scale CPO has created a more public-facing business, and as a result, accountability for our developed sites, spanning the term of our lease to often more than 25 years.
Long-Term Viability: Businesses need to ensure that their EV charging hubs and SSE projects are financially viable in the long run. This involves assessing factors such as evolving technology, market demand, energy pricing, and potential changes in regulations. We must also strive to provide third-party revenue opportunities where possible such as small scale retail and third-party advertising.
Myrekirk Roundabout – SSE is currently delivering Scotland's most powerful EV hub to date at Myrekirk Roundabout in Dundee. The project was developed in partnership with the landowner JBF Ltd to construct a 24-bay flagship and I’m proud to be part of the project team. In order to try and meet SSE’s biodiversity net-gain targets, innovative solutions such as the inclusion of Sedum roof systems have been sourced for installation on canopies within the site. EV hubs are uniquely challenging with respect to greenfield sites, therefore, innovation is key in order to meet business targets. The canopies being installed include sustainably-sourced materials, and we are working to minimise the use of concrete on-site, with the inclusion of the NAL socket system in replacement if the charger plinths.
Developing a project to ensure successful delivery involves several key factors:
Developing projects with sustainability at their core is absolutely crucial and of the highest importance to us at SSE. We are a prominent name within the UK energy market with wider operations in electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and supply. As the energy industry undergoes significant transformation to address climate change and environmental concerns, SSE recognises and is proud of the critical role it plays in the movement towards sustainability. Customers and communities are increasingly demanding environmentally-responsible practices from companies, especially where it involves direct transactions, such as the charging and purchase of electricity to EV vehicles. Developing and demonstrating sustainable projects enhances SSE’s reputation and will create positive relationships with stakeholders who place sustainability at their core.