The projected growth in plug-in EVs (PEVs) offers challenges and opportunities to distribution utilities. If not managed in an intelligent way, these PEVs can pose a threat to overall grid reliability. Yet, if aggregated and optimized with smart controls, they can offer grid services under new business model platforms such as microgrids and virtual power plants (VPPs). While the primary purposes of these platforms differ-resiliency versus bidirectional value exchanges-they share the goal of extracting value from distributed energy resources (DER) portfolios.
Vehicle grid integration (VGI) enables PEVs to participate in grid balancing schemes as generation or demand assets for grid operators as well as similar balancing options for smaller subsets of the grid, including microgrids and VPPs. PEVs may do this by modulating the rate of power at which the battery is charged, known as V1G (unidirectional VGI), or by providing power back to the grid, known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G).
This Navigant Research report discusses how to develop a strategy to best extract grid services embedded in PEV batteries, charging loads, and charging infrastructure to help support microgrid and VPP deployments. The study defines the grid services possible from PEVs, showcases global deployments that tap PEVs as DER for microgrids and VPPs, and identifies lessons learned from deployments that point to market opportunities. Actionable recommendations for PEV, microgrid, and VPP stakeholders when implementing PEV-based applications within the next 5 years are also provided
Key Questions Addressed:
- What types of grid services are possible from PEVs?
- Which of these potential services are best suited for microgrids?
- Which microgrid segments represent the best near-term and longer-term opportunities?
- Which PEV grid services align with VPPs?
- Which regions of the world will PEVs likely be integrated into VPPs within the next 5 years?
- What should PEV, microgrid, and VPP stakeholders seek to do to build this market over the next 5 years?
Who Needs This Report:
- PEV charging component and management software providers
- Microgrid developers and controls specialists
- VPP software providers
- Stationary energy storage manufacturers
- Energy storage software companies
- Transmission grid operators
- Investor community
Table of Contents
Defining PEV Grid Services for Microgrids and VPPs
- Vehicle Grid Integration Protects Utilities but Scaling Is Difficult
- Added Value of VGI Realized in Microgrids and VPPs
Transforming PEVs from Grid Challenge into Grid Solution
- Comparing Utility, Microgrid, and VPP Applications of PEVs
- VGI for Microgrids and VPPs Adds Nuance to Value Propositions
- Pairing EV Chargers with Stationary Batteries
- Microgrid and VPP Case Studies Tapping PEVs as Grid Resources
- Microgrids Show Real-World Benefits of VGI
- San Diego Zoo, California
- Camp Carson, Colorado
- Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii
- Island of Bornholm, Denmark
- University of California San Diego, California
- VPPs Expand Portfolios of DER Assets to Include PEVs
- Green Omni-Terminal Demonstration, Port of Los Angeles, California
- General Motors E-Motor Plant, Maryland
- Alectra, Ontario
- California Independent System Operator and eMotorWerks VPP, California
- Jeju Island, South Korea
PEVs Emerge as Viable Enabling Technology for Microgrids and VPPs Within the Next 5 Years
- Microgrids as a Solution
- Campus/Institutional, Military, and Remote Applications Best Near-Term Opportunities for Microgrids
- Incentive Misalignment Hinders PEV Assets from Driving Microgrid Adoption
- Standards Can Drive Hardware and Software Suppliers Toward Microgrids
- Effects of Microgrids on Utilities and Transmission Grid Operators Still Unclear
- VPPs as a Solution
- Several Markets Provide Near-Term Market Opportunities for VPPs
- Looking Beyond PEVs as Simply Transportation Vehicles
- Open Platforms are the Future for Hardware and Software Suppliers
- VPPs Provide Upstream Value to Utilities and Transmission Grid Operators
Next Steps in the Energy Cloud Journey for PEVs
- PEV Stakeholders Should Explore Standards, New Grid Services, and Energy as a Service
- Onsite Synergy with ES and Pioneering Should be the Focus for Microgrid Stakeholders
- VPP Stakeholders Should Tap AI, Promote Market Reforms, and Look to DERMS