SEATTLE --- Austin Energy announced that the public utility will conduct a pilot to evaluate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. The pilot will use two plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) equipped with charging management technology from Seattle-based V2Green.

Austin Energy will assess the potential of PHEVs to maximize the use of renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and positively impact the operation of a smarter electrical grid.

A V2Green Connectivity Module (VCM) will be installed in each test vehicle to establish two-way communication with the grid, and V2Green's server software will control the timing and extent to which the vehicles are charged.

The ability to reduce or increase charging to match grid requirements will allow Austin Energy to minimize spikes in demand while capitalizing on the availability of renewable energy sources, such as the wind power that flows predominately from West Texas overnight, powering the utility's GreenChoice program.

The V2Green System also will collect and aggregate field data from the pilot project for analysis.

The city of Austin, through Austin Energy, is leading a nationwide campaign meant to demonstrate to automakers that sufficient demand now supports mass production of PHEVs. Austin Energy reported that more than 100 cities and counties have joined the initiative.

"Austin Energy is nationally recognized for its advocacy of plug-in vehicles and this Smart Charging pilot is another example of their leadership," said John Clark, chief executive officer of V2Green. "As part of a smart grid solution, charging management technology facilitates the increased use of renewable energy, reduces utility operating costs and, best of all, allows us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our reliance on foreign oil."

Austin Energy is the 10th largest public power utility in the country with 380,000 customers and serving a population of 880,000.

In a similar program, V2Green is also working with Seattle utility Seattle City Light to monitor the charging performance of 13 Toyota Priuses from different city departments.

V2Green delivers clean-energy technology solutions that enable "smart charging," vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services and real-time communication between plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVS) and the power grid.

With the V2Green system, utilities can remotely control the time and rate at which vehicles charge, minimizing spikes and matching loads to the availability of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. V2Green’s load management capability can be used to deliver energy cost-savings and lower PHEV ownership costs. V2Green’s solutions are being deployed in field trials conducted with leading U.S. energy companies.