The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial, a project run by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge to demonstrate how electric vehicles (EVs) can provide V2G services, has announced Green Energy UK as one of its energy partners.
Green Energy UK is the UK’s only supplier of 100% renewable electricity and 100% green gas. For 20 years Green Energy UK has been championing sustainable energy in the UK and was the first energy supplier in the UK to offer residential customers a Time of Use (TOU) tariff in 2017.
With Green Energy UK’s ‘TIDE’ time of use tariff, which offers a Low-TIDE electricity rate at off-peak times, EV drivers can charge their vehicles overnight when electricity prices are at their lowest, from midnight to 7am daily.
Electric Nation is different to other V2G projects because it is using four different energy partners instead of just one. This means that the project is a more realistic simulation of a future world in which many streets will have a number of EVs using V2G chargers with different energy suppliers.
Twenty-five applicants to the Electric Nation V2G trial will be offered the opportunity to join the project with the Green Energy UK and CrowdCharge proposition.
EV drivers will inform the CrowdCharge platform when they next need their car and how much energy (or how many miles) they will need for the next day. The first priority for CrowdCharge is to ensure these requirements are met. EVs are often plugged in for over 12 hours overnight but may only need an average of one to two hours of charge. This allows considerable time and flexibility to fit in the EV charging overnight.
Green Energy UK will send instructions to the CrowdCharge platform, which connects to the EV driver’s V2G charger, to tailor the charging schedule to help align the supplier’s generation and supply.
Participants who meet the minimum requirement of 15 full plug-in cycles per month from 6pm to 5am can earn free miles of electricity. Green Energy UK will supply qualifying participants with 50 free miles of electricity per week (up to 2,600 free miles of electricity per year) calculated at the Low-TIDE rate (when the EV is expected to do most of its charging).
This proposition includes a two-rate export tariff. This means that, if an EV is plugged in and available at Green Energy UK’s higher export rate tariff at peak times between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays (Monday to Friday only), participants have the potential to earn V2G benefits if CrowdCharge exports electricity to support the grid, and then recovers this energy at a lower cost overnight (at the Low-TIDE rate).
Participants should also see a reduction in their electricity bill as CrowdCharge is aiming to reduce household electricity use through load savings at expensive times, by exporting energy from the car to the home using the V2G charger.
Green Energy UK will install a free ‘next generation’ smart meter in participants’ homes for those who don’t already have one.
For participants with solar PV panels installed at their property, CrowdCharge will configure the project hardware installation to absorb as much excess solar as possible into the EV’s battery, with any surplus solar electricity being exported to the grid.
Doug Stewart, CEO at Green Energy UK, says: “To truly turn the tide on climate change we need to be smart and shift our demand patterns to consume electricity at off-peak times – not only is it the most sustainable way to lower energy bills, but by levelling out demand, it reduces the amount of generation capacity we need to build as a nation.
“The UK’s national grid draws electricity from a broad range of energy supplies to cope with the country’s day-to-day demands. There are some pinch points during the day when demand can outstrip normal supply. When this happens, gas or diesel-powered plants fire up to meet the demand. This adds dramatically to the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions.
“By making simple changes to how and when we use our energy, we can flatten out the peaks and help to ensure that our renewable generation is able to meet as much of the UK’s demand for energy as possible.”
WPD’s DSO Development Manager Paul Jewell adds: “This project will give us a real insight into the behaviour of V2G customers and how they are helping shape the demands on our network.
“As V2G customers respond to supplier price signals, to either charge up at times of excess energy or generate at times of limited energy, they will help manage the peaks and troughs we see in demand on the network. This interactive participation will help us smooth out our peaks and allow more EVs and other Low Carbon Technologies to connect.
“We are particularly pleased to be working with more than one electricity supplier, and hope to be able to see the effect of different approaches taken in the supply markets.”
Electric Nation is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales to take part in the trial of Vehicle to Grid smart charging technology. Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology.
The trial is offering free installation of the V2G smart chargers worth £5,500 to Nissan EV drivers who live in the WPD regions. CrowdCharge is recruiting 100 people for the trial to help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and others to understand how V2G charging could work with their electricity networks.
The V2G trial follows the first Electric Nation project from 2018/19 which at the time was the world’s largest EV smart charging trial. The trial captured data from more than two million hours of car charging, providing real life insight into people’s habits when charging their vehicles.
By plugging in at specified times and putting energy back into the grid, active participants of the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project are expected to earn rewards (which vary dependent upon the energy partner proposition groups) over the one-year trial period, currently scheduled from March 2021 to March 2022.
Over 575 EV drivers have applied to join Electric Nation so far. Recruitment remains open to ensure the project secures 100 participants that meet all the eligibility criteria, however the project will be closing to new applications soon, so anyone interested in being part of the trial should apply now.
• Must be resident in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) licence areas (East and West Midlands, South West and South Wales)
• Must have a Nissan EV with a battery capacity of at least 30kWh or more
• Need to have the vehicle until the end of the trial (March 2022)
• Need to have off-road parking
• Will use the CrowdCharge mobile app to manage charging
• May need to switch to a new energy tariff if required by their assigned project energy supplier
• May need to have a new smart meter put in/updated as part of the project participation.
For more information and to apply to join the project visit www.electricnation.org.uk