A distributed power-clean energy milestone was reached late last week as leaders from government and industry joined members of the eV2G project to celebrate the first instance of electric vehicle-to-grid (EV2G) technology being used to sell electricity to the power grid.
Launched in September 2011 by the University of Delaware and NRG, the eV2g project has been selling electricity from a commercial test fleet of EVs to the grid since February 27, when it became an official participant in regional grid operator PJM Interconnection’s frequency regulation market.
EV Batteries as Storage, Grid Stabilizers In the Drive to Distributed, Green Energy
The technology developed by the eV2g project team establishes a two-way connection between EVs and the PJM power grid, enabling EVs to supply electricity to, as well as draw it from, the grid. The ability of the technology to aggregate electricity from multiple EVs to create a single power source is a key aspect of the technology, e2Vg elaborated in a press release.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell highlighted the significance of the eV2g project and its success to date:
Moving innovative ideas out of the classroom and into the marketplace is critical to growing our economy. The partnership between NRG and University of Delaware perfectly illustrates the potential for research institutions to spur economic development.
Added NRG executive vice president Denise Wilson, who leads NRG’s emerging business ventures:
This demonstrates that EVs can provide both mobility and stationary power while helping making the grid more resilient and ultimately generating revenue for electric vehicle owners.
The advancement also proves the power of partnerships such as these to accelerate the development of clean energy technologies that will deliver for the economy, consumers, security and sustainability.
Joining the University of Delaware and NRG in the eV2g project, BMW AG provides the EVs, Milbank Manufacturing is providing the EV charging stations which are based on UD (University of Delaware) technology, and AutoPort is installing UD control technology into the EVs.
Scalable, Cost-Effective Storage: The Green Energy Missing Link
Lack of cost-effective storage capacity remains the “missing link” in the renewable energy equation, a critical and pivotal linchpin in the drive toward a green, distributed energy infrastructure, economy, and society. Hence, tapping into the energy stored in a critical mass of EV batteries is a “Holy Grail” of sorts in the EV2G and broader clean, distributed energy movement.
According to eV2g:
For grid operators, the technology serves as an innovative new approach to energy storage. It has the potential to balance the power provided by intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar. Energy storage, such as large-scale batteries or those in a fleet of vehicles, can take the wind’s power generated at night and store it to use when demand is higher.
PJM operates a neutral, competitive wholesale electricity market and manages the flow of a high-voltage electricity grid that meets the needs of more than 60 million people across the District of Columbia and all or part 13 states – Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Demand and supply of wholesale electricity across PJM’s grid is balanced on a second-by-second basis via the frequency regulation market, which the University of Delaware-NRG eV2g fleet is contributing.
Introduction of eV2g’s technology also required some adjustment on PJM’s part.
“PJM changed rules for participation in the regulation service market to decrease the minimum amount of power needed to participate and we implemented new rules that recognize and compensate faster, more accurately responding resources, such as batteries,” vice president of operations Michael J. Kormos explained.
We knew that by doing so would attract innovation and would find potential for energy storage or other technologies. We’re glad to be a part of this project and hope that this inspires continued innovation among our partners and others in the industry. [sic]
Though still in development and not yet ready for prime-time commercial use, the eV2g project team envisages commercial EV fleet owners as prospective early adopters, enabling them to earn revenue while their EV fleets aren’t on the road. Further on down the road, eV2g members foresee the technology being used by individual EV owners.
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