Downtown Denver Home To New Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) Technology Trial

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A new vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project is going into operation in Denver, Colorado. The Alliance Center, whose mission is “to demonstrate sustainability in action and mobilize change agents to accelerate solutions,” is installing a V2G system from Fermata Energy at their Denver offices.

The Alliance Center building in downtown Denver, CO. Image courtesy of Fermata Energy.

For now, the project is quite small, involving just on electric car. Nonetheless, it is another step forward in testing and slowly rolling out V2G technology. “The Fermata Energy V2B System will work in conjunction with The Alliance Center’s electric vehicle (EV) to utilize the energy stored in a Nissan LEAF battery to charge the building during peak demand times.

“Fermata Energy’s bidirectional charger and predictive demand-peak software will result in energy cost savings and reduction in The Alliance Center’s carbon footprint.”

The bidirectional smart charger will be installed this quarter.

“The Alliance Center is a living laboratory that seeks out projects to test and showcase innovative technologies that address issues around sustainability,” said Simmons-St. Onge. “Providing a Fermata Energy bidirectional electric charger outside our building and utilizing their demand-peak predictive software will allow us to reduce our building costs and our impact on climate change.”

A Nissan LEAF attached to a Fermata Energy bidirectional charger.

“Through our system of bidirectional charger married with our proprietary V2X software system, we make it possible for electric vehicles to combat climate change, increase energy resilience, and reduce energy costs,” said David Slutzky, founder and CEO of Fermata Energy. “The partnership with The Alliance Center gives Fermata Energy the opportunity to demonstrate, in action, how we can be change agents to accelerate solutions to our world’s greatest challenges.”

In the press release about the new Denver project, the company writes, “Fermata Energy’s proprietary V2X software system has proven successful in reducing the energy costs of buildings where its infrastructure and technology is already installed.” On its website, there is a short case study on a project in Danville, Virginia. The case study showed $793.28 in utility bill savings across 5 months (and a projection of $1,900 savings annually) at an Electronic Instrumentation and Technology (EIT) facility.

“Based on the outcomes of previous demonstration projects and commercial deployments, the value streams from this partnership could add thousands of dollars to the value of an EV over its useful life. This will make the option of going electric more affordable for drivers, and having more V2B chargers deployed will enable building owners to save on energy costs,” said Slutzky.

Interestingly, Slutzky was the Chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors when I was director of a sustainable transportation nonprofit in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is Albemarle County’s core city and home of the county’s offices. In fact, I presented in front of him a few times on transportation and sustainable development matters. This was back in 2007–2008, before any mass-market electric vehicles were on the market or even within sight. Much earlier, Slutzy coordinated an International Task Force of the President’s Counsel on Sustainable Development and was Director of the Urban Initiative at the EPA, in 1997–1998.

The Alliance Center

As an organization focused on demonstrating and advancing progressive, innovative, clean technology, The Alliance Center has previously installed a DC fast charger (the first in Lower Downtown Cenver); implemented numerous energy efficiency technologies in the 1908 building it calls home, securing the title of most energy efficient building in Lower Downtown Denver; and is now “leading Colorado’s efforts to craft a regenerative and equitable future for the state, as part of the Regenerative Recovery Coalition.” It also offers collaborative workspace.

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Images courtesy of Fermata Energy

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Zachary Shahan

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