Hawaii Energy, a ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, has teamed up with charging station provider OpConnect for a pilot program to encourage residents with photovoltaic (PV) systems to charge their EVs during off-peak demand hours from 9 am to 2 pm.
The aim of the program is to find out at what price PV customers would be willing to charge their EVs during the day when renewable energy is most abundant. This would shift EV charging electric loads to off-peak demand hours rather than peak hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. when the majority of residents return home and usually start charging.
Residents with photovoltaic systems are eligible to participate in the pilot, for which they will receive a 60 percent discount on charging through the OpConnect network.
“OpConnect members are early adopters of new technologies that will help them reduce their environmental footprint, while also saving them money, whether that is from driving electric vehicles or incorporating solar energy into their homes,” said Dexter Turner, CEO of OpConnect Hawaii.
“We look forward to the pilot results that can provide valuable insights about what incentives are needed to change the charging habits of EV drivers,” said Joe Simpkins, Program Operations Manager, Hawaii Energy. “With effective behavioral change, this could be a successful load-shifting strategy to reduce peak demand on the electrical grid.”
According to the US Energy Information Administration, solar power has grown exponentially in Hawaii over the last five years, particularly in Oahu. About 12 percent of Oahu residents have rooftop solar, compared to the US average of 0.50 percent.