Smart charging—which simply means scheduling EV charging for times of lower electrical demand—can greatly reduce the burden EVs place on the grid. In areas where utilities offer time-of-use rates, it can also save EV drivers substantial sums.
East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), a public agency devoted to providing clean energy in California’s Bay Area, is working with energy software provider Kaluza on a vehicle-grid integration (VGI) program. This program is designed to reduce demand on the grid by automatically shifting charging away from peak times, while still allowing drivers to use their cars when they need to.
The EBCE Smart Charge app, developed by Kaluza, will initially service around 1,000 EV drivers. Drivers can use the mobile app to specify when they will need their cars, and optimize charging to occur when energy is cheaper and greener. EBCE claims that the service could enable an EV driver to save as much as $550 a year by taking advantage of a preferential EV charging tariff, while also reducing CO2 emissions.
The Kaluza platform will follow real-time price signals to enable cars to store energy during off-peak times, thereby enabling EBCE to maximize its contracted wind and solar capacity.
“Electric vehicles offer a terrific opportunity for us to cut carbon and costs, but only if the grid is ready,” said Kaluza CEO Scott Neuman. “Software that enables us to optimize charging is here, and it’s now time to use it so that we can start reaping the full rewards of electric vehicles.”
The service marks Kaluza’s first deployment in North America—the company has worked with OVO Energy in the UK, AGL Energy in Australia and Mitsubishi in Japan.
“A well-managed power grid is a benefit to the entire community, both in terms of reliable electricity service and keeping prices down,” said EBCE CEO Nick Chaset. “Participants in EBCE Smart Charge will have a hand in directly lowering demand at peak times to increase grid resilience and lower costs for all EBCE customers.”
Source: East Bay Community Energy