Electric Vehicles

NRG Energy, University of Delaware Developing EV-to-Grid Technology

September 26, 2011

PRINCETON, NJ -- NRG Energy Inc. said it is partnering with the University of Delaware on eV2g, a company commercializing new technology that will enable EV owners to sell electric storage services from the batteries of parked EVs to help stabilize the electricity grid. 

UD professor Willett Kempton pioneered the patented vehicle-to-grid technology that eV2g will use.

“As more electric vehicles hit the road and charging stations — such as those provided by NRG’s eVgo network in Texas — continue to proliferate, EV-to-grid technology is the next logical step in the electrification of our transportation network,” said Denise Wilson, president of NRG’s alternative energy services. “Working in partnership with the University of Delaware, eV2g technology will for the first time offer a true two-way interface between EVs and the electric grid, resulting in cost savings to EV fleet operators and eventually other EV owners and consumers, and cleaner and more reliable electricity for everybody. It’s one more way EV owners can commit to a sustainable energy future and get paid for it at the same time.”

According to the company, eV2g’s technology will allow EV owners to sell battery storage back to the electric grid while the EV is plugged in — at no risk or inconvenience to daily driving needs. The program will initially help EV fleet managers to get connected with eV2g, then individual EV owners in the future. Once enrolled and plugged in, eV2g will allow EVs to communicate with the grid and let grid operators take power from connected EVs during peak usage periods. EV owners will be able to schedule in advance any times their vehicles need more charging than usual, as for an unusually long trip, and what minimum level of charge they want to maintain at all times. eV2g will collect payment from the grid operator and pay EV owners for making their vehicles available.

”Energy research, including grid-integrated vehicles, is an important priority for the University of Delaware,” said David Weir, director of UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships. “The energy storage inherent in automobiles is staggering. If all the automobiles in the U.S. were electrified it would be enough to power the entire U.S. for half a day. The strategic partnership between NRG and UD provides the opportunity to tap this enormous potential, thereby enhancing energy security, facilitating integration of renewables and lowering the cost of electricity.”

Electric grid operators rely on resources that can help provide or absorb short bursts of energy to keep the grid running smoothly, and parked and plugged-in EVs can help to fill that role. Balancing the grid this way generates no additional emissions and can lead to a decrease in electricity costs over the long term by delaying or supplanting the need to build new generation facilities, eV2g said.

 

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