How to meet the demand of EV infrastructure and maintain a stable grid –

As electric vehicles (EVs) become the new standard, charging infrastructure will become a common description, available in many places from a variety of providers: privately run charging stations, office parking lots, home garages and government. – Provided space to fill vacancies. We need a new energy blueprint for the United States in order to maintain a stable grid to support this national move to EV charging.

The Biden administration announced the installation of 500,000 charging stations nationally and additional energy storage to facilitate the transition to EVs. Integrating and transforming all this new infrastructure is needed to balance traffic on the grid and manage the growing demand for energy that extends beyond power lines and storage.

The majority of EV infrastructure draws from its power grid, which will add significant demand if it reaches scale. In an ideal situation, EV charging stations would have their own renewable energy generation co-located with storage, but new programs and solutions are needed to make it available everywhere. Several scenarios have been tested in recent years for how renewable energy could be used to power EV charging in the US. Eventually, EVs will likely provide power to the grid as well.

These technological advancements will happen as we progress through the energy transition; EV infrastructure will largely depend on the US grid. This necessitates behavioral change among a range of stakeholders and the general public to keep the grid stable while meeting energy demand.

The White House fact sheet for EV charging infrastructure points to a technical blueprint on which the Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute will work together. It is important that utilities, energy management and storage stakeholders and the general public are involved in the plan – here’s why.

stakeholder cooperation

The charging infrastructure is currently fragmented in the US. Much of it has been privatized and there are complaints that unless you drive a Tesla, it is difficult to find charging on the road. Some EV owners have even returned to driving gas-powered vehicles. There is reason to hope that this will change rapidly.

ChargePoint and EVGo are two companies that will likely become household names as their EV networks expand. A coalition made up of some of the largest U.S. utilities including American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, Southern Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority — called the Electric Highway Coalition — announced plans for a regional network of charging stations. utility area.

The networks that have swapped private gas stations for EV charging are one piece of the puzzle. We also need to ensure that everyone has affordable access and reduced charging times – this is one of the main concerns on the minds of every stakeholder. Having charging available at multiple locations spreads demand, helps to keep electricity available and the grid balanced.

Various consumer needs, including location and housing, work schedules and economic conditions, require consideration and innovative solutions that make EV and charging accessible to all. What works in the suburbs will not suit rural or urban areas, and just imagine someone who works night shifts in a dense urban area.

Biden’s plan includes “strong partnerships to increase workplace fees at a regional or national level and $4 million to encourage new programs that will help increase the viability of the job.” [plug-in electric vehicle] Ownership for consumers in disadvantaged communities.” Partnerships and creative solutions will be needed equally.

Opportunity to fully engage the technologies we already have

John Kerry recently said, “50 percent of the reductions we have to make to reach net-zero by 2050 or 2045 are going to come from technologies we don’t have yet.” He later clarified that we now also have technologies that we need to put to work, which get less wind time. In fact, we are just getting started in using existing renewable and energy transition technologies; We have not yet realized their full potential.

Currently, utility-scale and distributed energy storage are used for their simplest efficiencies, that is, when energy demand reaches its peak and stabilizes the grid through services referred to as balancing and frequency regulation. helps to keep. But as access to renewable energy increases and loads such as EVs are electrified, peak demand will accelerate.

The role of storage for EV charging stations is well understood. On-site storage is used daily to provide electricity to charge the cars at any given time. Utility-scale storage has similar efficiencies and can be used to store and then supply renewable energy to the grid in large quantities every day to help balance the demand for EVs.

A stationary power system for EVs combines utilities and utility-scale storage with a network of subsystems where energy storage is co-located with EV charging. All systems are coordinated and synchronized to collect and send energy at different times of the day based on all factors affecting grid stability and the availability of renewable energy. That synchronization is controlled by intelligent power management software that relies on sophisticated algorithms to anticipate and respond to changes within fractions of a second.

This model also makes it possible to manage the cost of electricity and EV demand on the grid. Those subsystems may be municipally owned locations in low-income areas. Such a subsystem would collect electricity in its storage assets and set the price on its own terms at the local level. For example, these systems can encourage residents to power on at certain times of the day to make charging more economical by providing the option of real-time costing of electricity during peak demand when using home outlets.

behavior change

The biggest challenge for utilities will be how to manage the EV load and motivate people to charge their vehicles, rather than waiting for everyone to come home in the evening, until during the renewable production period. If everyone plugs in at the same time, we’ll end up cooking dinner in the dark.

While at different times there has been talk of incentivizing the public to charge and spread demand, the motivators differ between demographics. With the ability to charge at home and skip the trip to the “gas station” – or “power station” as it may refer to in the future – many people will choose convenience over cost.

The way we currently operate, individual energy use seems like an independent, isolated phenomenon for consumers and households. Electric vehicles – from utilities and private charging stations to consumers – will need to be more aware of demand on the grid and function more as energy-sharing communities.

Thus, a diverse charging network alone will not solve the issue of over-taxing the grid. Managing energy on the grid and changing behavior requires a combination of a new blueprint.

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