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NRG Energy, U Delaware Announce eV2g Initiative To Develop Electric Vehicle-to-Grid Technology
- By Mike Hohenbrink
NRG Energy, Inc. will partner with the University of Delaware to launch the eV2g program to commercialize vehicle-to-grid technology. The new technology will enable electric vehicle (EV) owners to sell electric storage services from the batteries of parked EVs to help stabilize the electricity grid by taking power from connected vehicles during periods of peak usage.
The technology was pioneered by Willett Kempton, a professor in UD's School of Marine Science and Policy and director of the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration.
Initially, the program will focus on getting fleet managers connected with eV2g, with individual electric vehicle owners following later.
Vehicle owners can set a minimum charge level to be maintained and can also schedule in advance any times their vehicles need more charging than usual, such as for an unusually long trip. eV2g collects payment from the grid operator and pays electric vehicle 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, which oversees the University’s knowledge-based assets from licensing to commercialization. "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."
Additional potential benefits of the new technology include:
- No additional emissions are generated;
- Building new generation facilities is delayed;
- Temporary spikes in demand are met with minimal disruption; and
- Dependence on foreign oil can be reduced.
America spends approximately a billion dollars a day for imported oil and transportation accounts for more than a quarter of America’s greenhouse gas emissions, the university noted in its announcement of the new initiative.
"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."
More information about vehicle to grid technology is available at udel.edu/V2G.