The province’s special committee on climate change turned to the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pioneer for information to help explore the viability of implementing this concept on P.E.I.
Willett Kempton fielded numerous questions from committee members during a detailed presentation Thursday on the V2G technology and electric vehicle integration.
V2G aims to optimize the way people transport, use and produce electricity by turning electric cars into virtual power plants.
Under this relatively new concept, electric cars would store and dispatch electrical energy stored in networked vehicle batteries, which together act as one collective battery fleet for peak shaving (sending power back to the grid when demand is high) and valley filling (charging at night when demand is low.
V2G would allow consumers to charge electric vehicles and monitor their energy costs, using mobile devices. This information helps utilities to better manage grid loads during peak times.
Pilot projects include applications for smartphones and a black box with cellular data modem collecting information on the car’s state of charge, the vehicle location and the type of power source it is connected to.
Collected data is sent to the cloud where computers calculate, depending on the grid load, the optimal time to recharge.
When the electric utility would like to buy power from the V2G network, it holds an auction. The car owners or leasing companies would be able to define the parameters under which they will sell energy from their battery pack.
Regulatory changes required
Kempton told the committee the province would need to make regulatory changes to allow electric vehicles to provide grid services.
Also, a significant hike in the number of electric cars being used by P.E.I. residents, believed to be below 50, would be needed to make V2G viable in the province.
Kempton, a professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware, developed the concept of the vehicle as a power storage concept in 1997 with Vermont’s Green Mountain College economist Steve Letendre.
Kempton has taken the V2G from idea through proof of concept to commercial pilots in both Delaware and Denmark.
He sold the international license for the technology to the Danish company Nuuve in 2011.
The special committee on climate change was created in July 2019 to explore the options available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make fully costed recommendations on how the province can best meet its emission reduction targets.