A new report from Navigant Research discusses how to develop a strategy to best extract grid services embedded in plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) batteries, charging loads, and charging infrastructure to help support microgrid and virtual power plant (VPP) deployments.
A microgrid is a small-scale electric grid of that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid. It may include more than one source of energy or storage, such as solar, wind energy, and/or energy storage. A VPP is a cloud-based distributed power plant that aggregates and optimizing distributed energy resources (DER) sources.
According to Navigant, the projected growth in PEVs offers challenges and opportunities to distribution utilities. If not managed in an intelligent way, PEVs can pose a threat to overall grid reliability. However, if aggregated and optimized with smart controls, they can offer grid services under new business model platforms such as microgrids and VPPs.
“While the primary purposes of these platforms differ — resiliency versus bidirectional value exchanges — they share the common goal of extracting value from DER portfolios,” says Peter Asmus, research director with Navigant Research.
The report, Implementing EV-Based Grid Services for Microgrids and VPPs, 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.
To succeed in the market, according to the report, PEV ecosystem stakeholders should support the development of communication standards, shape regulations on frequency regulation services, and explore new energy as a service business models. Meanwhile, microgrid ecosystem stakeholders should focus on how PEVs provide value internally to the microgrid during emergency islanding and pair PEV fleets with stationary storage devices.
VPP ecosystem stakeholders should use advances in artificial intelligence, advocate for market reforms, and seek opportunity in the DER management system market.
The Navigant 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.