Transmission system operator TenneT, the world’s leading electric vehicle maker, Nissan, and the technology company, The Mobility House, have achieved a crucial vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project to save vital renewable energy in Germany.
As part of a showcase project of the German Ministry (SINTEG), batteries from all-electric Nissan LEAFs were used as storage devices for locally produced electricity to help to stabilize the power grid during peak demand.
The project showcased a vital solution for an increasingly common challenge in the German energy market; where energy is lost due to transport bottlenecks caused by the decentralized feed-in of renewable energies (46% in 2019).
In order to prevent these bottlenecks, TenneT has to limit the surplus of renewable energy in the north of Germany while at the same time increasing power generation in the south from conventional methods – which is high cost, especially at peak times.
To overcome this, the wind power available in northern Germany was used by electric cars in that region. At the same time, electricity from fully charged Nissan LEAF batteries was fed back into the grid instead of increasing fossil fuel generation. The mobility and charging requirements of vehicle users were taken into account during the power sharing. This meant that the utilization of renewable energies increased and the restricted wind power in the north could be reduced, without incurring high costs or losing valuable energy.
The intelligent re-distribution measures were controlled by the software from The Mobility House, the smart Charging and Energy Management system ChargePilot, operating in accordance with TenneT’s specifications.
“The pilot project has shown that we can use electromobility in the future to flexibly control the weather-dependent renewable electricity production. That takes the strain off the electricity grid and helps us to limit expensive curtailment of wind turbines. The short-term flexibility that electric mobility provides us with can supplement the grid expansion and become an important building blockfor the energy transition,” said TenneT Managing Director Tim Meyerjürgens.
This technology and equipment can be used to significantly improve the energy sector’s carbon footprint. In 2017 and 2018, more than five terawatt hours of surplus wind power had to be regulated in each case. Every kilowatt hour of unrestricted wind power prevents the emission of 737 grams of CO2 from fossil fuels such as coal. By using electric cars as temporary storage, the e-vehicles could have helped save up to eight million tons of CO2 in 2017 and 2018.
Nissan has been working with The Mobility House on the intelligent integration of electric vehicles into the power grid for a number of years. Francisco Carranza, Managing Director of Nissan Energy, Nissan Europe, said: “Nissan electric vehicles can be connected to the power grid and support the transmission and distribution of electricity. In this way they can help to make the power grid more sustainable and stable. At Nissan we were looking for ways to use electric vehicles beyond driving as decentralized energy storage solutions. Today, our electric vehicles are not only changing the way we drive, but also the way we live.”
“For us, the successful project is once again proof that e-mobility must be considered together with the energy transition and that it is an integral part of it. We have come a step closer to our vision of a CO2-free future and have shown what is technically possible today,” explains Thomas Raffeiner, founder and CEO of The Mobility House.
An intelligent charging and energy management system such as ChargePilot from The Mobility House is crucial to network operators because it ensures that small-scale and decentralized capacities of electric vehicles are efficiently integrated into the network management. The loading control of the redispatch measures took place locally and in real time – through the connection to the technology platform from The Mobility House and a platform from TenneT, which regulates small-scale flexibility. The Mobility House applied the technology that is already used in the Renault-Nissan Alliance project in Porto Santo. The Madeira island has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s first CO2-free island. The latest completed project with TenneT and Nissan shows that electric cars can help stabilize the power grid and thus make a fundamental contribution to the energy transition.
Nissan electric cars are equipped with the CHAdeMO standard, which already enables a bidirectional energy exchange.
TenneT is currently working on a European platform with other transmission system operators. This will allow small-scale, decentralized flexibilities such as electric cars to be integrated into the energy system on a large scale. At the same time, The Mobility House, in collaboration with many leading car manufacturers, equips company fleets with its charging and energy management system ChargePilot. As soon as regulatory barriers are resolved, they are able to benefit from revenues, enabling them to operate their fleets even more cost-efficiently and CO2-free.
The key to a zero-emission future is to establish the political framework for an intelligent and bidirectional integration of electric mobility into the energy network already today.