March 7, 2019: The US state of Texas has deployed its first vehicle-to-grid research and testing facility as it looks to increase renewable penetration on its power supply, energy research center Pecan Street and utility Austin Energy announced on February 6.
The technology will be used to offset peak demand and provide greater flexibility in accessing energy resources, namely smoothing the intermittency of renewables on the grid and avoid curtailment.
The initiative is part of Austin Energy’s Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar Photovoltaics project, which is investigating how to integrate more solar power on to the area’s grid.
The goal of the 39-month long project, which ends next month, is to increase the city’s renewable energy penetration to 65% by 2027.
To date, the initiative has included two lithium ion energy storage systems, one is a solar array connected 1.5MW/2MWh system supplied by LG Chem, the other is 1.75MW/3.2MWh Younicos supplied system connected to rooftop solar.
There are also a number of residential and commercial ESSs, smart inverters, real-time data feeds, and a distributed energy resource software platform to optimize energy use.
Pecan Street is supporting the project at the residential level, with researchers at the organization’s East Austin laboratory gathering data from a 2018 Nissan Leaf powered by a 40kW battery pack.
The research facility has also installed an energy-monitoring network including 250 homes with solar panels, 65 of which have EVs.