The California Energy Commission has awarded a $1.5-million grant to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to develop a platform for integrating EV charging with utility-scale energy systems.
CSE will work with charging network operator KnGrid to create a standardized data platform using the ISO/IEC 15118 standard.
“By leveraging an international standard for how EVs share data with grid operators, our work will enable reliable, secure and scalable integration of California’s growing fleet of EVs with the low-carbon electrical grid of the future,” said Mike Ferry, CSE’s Senior Manager for Advanced Energy Projects. “Although focused on California, this project is applicable to grid operators across the country in managing EV charging with minimal impacts and the greatest environmental benefit.”
The project team will implement a smart charging platform called a “demand clearing house” (DCH), which will consolidate real-time grid profiles from local utilities and energy market pricing from the California Independent System Operator with simultaneous charging of grid-connected EVs. This two-way data exchange will make it possible to use EV batteries to help manage variable grid conditions.
“This project provides a clear pathway to harmonize EV batteries and their electric loads with the needs of today’s electrical utilities as they deal with increasing renewable energy sources,” said Stephen Davis, CEO of KnGrid. “The DCH will enable automakers, charging station manufacturers and utilities to standardize vehicle-grid communications by leveraging an internationally developed protocol, and will provide a viable model for utility pricing of grid-aligned EV charging.”
For utilities, vehicle-grid integration would provide energy demand flexibility during times when they can predict upcoming peak usage or times of excess renewable energy generation. Instructions could be sent to chargers to reduce or delay charging until grid conditions change, while providing EV drivers the option to charge at times with the best utility rates.
Once the DCH platform is developed, it will be tested in a demonstration fleet of EVs at UC San Diego.