The owner of the car would essentially be leasing storage capacity to the grid operator, which in turn could use it to smooth the ups and downs of a more renewable-dependent energy supply.
Preparing for a diversified future
Balancing supply and demand is one of the most important and challenging responsibilities of grid operators, said PJM's Kormos. The problem has become increasingly complex in recent years as fleets of new wind and solar power projects have come online, he added.
"In the future, we're looking at our grid and seeing a lot more renewables, but renewables only work when the weather allows -- when the wind blows and the sun shines," he said. "Rather than trying to match generation to load, as we have in the past, [V2G technology] lets us match load to generation."
PJM has amended its rules in recent years to allow smaller power projects, such as wind or solar installations and V2G technology, to participate in its power markets, he said.
Rather than interacting with the grid individually, the University of Delaware power stations aggregate the energy available in the 15 cars into a single available resource. Upon receiving a signal from PJM, the software then siphons power from all available cars until the required demand is met.
Although a number of the cars are operational as vehicles, they are not currently being commercialized in that regard. As they are already making a profit by integrating with the grid, future use as transportation can be seen as value-added, NRG Executive Vice President Denise Wilson said. The pilot project "demonstrates that EVs can provide both mobility and stationary power while helping to make the grid more resilient," she added.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500