EV Energy mets Marc Trahand from NUVVE @ the V2G Conference
During the 2nd Vehicle 2 Grid Conference in Amsterdam in May many different business models and good practices were explained and showcased. One of them caught our attention for the EV Energy project: The NUVVE EV battery aggregation technology.
We spoke to Marc Trahand from Nuvve, who explained us the technology and experience behind their commercial V2G project, which he described as “Grid Integrated Vehicles (GIVe)”. The California based company Nuvve is specialised in the aggregation of highly distributed resources at the low voltage edge of the grid.
How does their electric vehicle battery technology work and how does it link to renewable energy integration?
The technology is based on V2G technology which allows electric vehicles not only to charge their batteries, but also to discharge them and thereby give back energy to the grid according to real-time requests from for instance grid operators. That way the vehicle battery can be used as “smart” storage or generator that draws or feeds in energy in response to grid needs.
Nuvve combines small amounts of energy from the batteries in thousands of EVs to constitute a large and valuable energy source or load for grid operators comparable to the capacity of traditional generators. In their system the vehicle can report its available capacities for aggregation with that of other vehicles in prior to sending electricity back to the grid. Altogether such vehicles can constitute a considerable storage or generation resource, also called a Virtual Power Plant.
Their technology further enables potential services such as bidding into existing national energy markets or working with distribution grid operators to develop services they can use to adapt to changing grid conditions as more distributed generation comes online. These potentials respond to a highly fluctuating energy production by renewables that can be balanced via bi-directional energy flows of EV batteries.
Technology development and market integration
The technology has been developed by researchers over the last twenty years from the University of Delaware. Nuvve is now bringing it to the market. They are finding that they can adapt the product to support many existing grid services, and some that have not yet been developed commercially. Their success lies in the control of assets and services to the grid of which EVs are just one type of asset they can work with. The availability of EVs is guaranteed for Nuvve since their technology is compatible with production models such as the Nissan Leafs, ENV-200s (vans) or the Mitsubishi iMIEV and the Outlander PHEV that come off the line standard with V2G capability. V2G-capable models from other major automakers will be announced in the next year or so. Charging stations also need to be specifically designed to include this bidirectional functionality.
Politics, the industry and Nuvve
For the EV Energy project, policy change is an important part of the exchange process. It was interesting to learn that Nuvve had to cooperate with public authorities to reach policy change because the market policy environment was not suitable for their product at the time. The process was to help define how this new type of business would interact with existing energy, infrastructure, financial, regulatory, and market operations. Existing companies and government entities from traditionally separate fields (energy and transport) needed to work together to determine how payment mechanisms, energy metering, tax structures and operating rules could account for this new player in the field. To achieve that, Nuvve spent time understanding the electric grid and the related market/regulatory environments to be able to address the questions, concerns, and misconceptions of stakeholders in both government and industry. Nuvve asked how they can help an existing system evolve, not how the system should be adjusted to accommodate their business, which is an important lesson to learn for our project where education and collaboration are key to opening up these markets.
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About Nuvve: Nuvve Corp. is a San Diego based company, whose mission is to lower the cost of electrical vehicle (EV) ownership while supporting the integration of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Their Grid Integrated Vehicle platform GIVe™ transforms EVs into grid assets when charging while guaranteeing the expected level of charge when the vehicle owner needs it. The aggregation of thousands of electric vehicles into a virtual power plant using the GIVe platform, allows Nuvve to participate in electricity markets with a power capacity comparable to traditional generators. Based on vehicle to grid technology or V2G, the GIVe platform gives benefits to public organisations, businesses and homes by reducing the cost of electric infrastructure and reducing CO2 emissions. www.nuvve.com