The Newest Demand Response Participant: Electric Vehicles
Demand response is catching on faster than pumpkin spice lattes!
There are some new candidates who may be able to take part in the energy program that’s saving our electric grid from a total meltdown. Automakers are working to develop a system that will integrate electric vehicles in demand response, a process where participants get paid to reduce electricity consumption for a set period of time so utilities are able to keep up with demand.
Sumitomo Electric Industries, along with several utilities, has run tests to see if cloud computing can be used in transporting a message directly to electric vehicles. The message is designed to ask that the car’s owner briefly suspend charging to boost grid stability, which prevents local blackouts. If the owner agrees to participate, he is compensated for his energy reduction.
A demonstration to show off the new technology was recently held at the Sacramento Municipal Utility Districts Customer Service Center. Transmission companies and utilities in attendance included Duke Energy, PJM Interconnection, Pacific Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, and ConEdison, among others.
John Cangany, sustainability communications manager for Ford, commented, “The demo showed the vehicles responding to a request from the grid to stop charging and then responding to another request to start charging again.”
Additional automakers taking part in this initiative include Honda, BMW, Toyota, Chrysler Group, Mitsubishi, General Motors, and Mercedes-Benz. And it’s not a coincidence that each of these manufacturers offers at least one electric vehicle.
Although most EV owners typically charge their cars at night, the potential for more users to power up during the day could add some strain on the electric grid, which is why automakers are searching for a solution now while EVs are just taking off.
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