Energy Commission Workshop Updates Progress on Vehicle-Grid Integration

The California Energy Commission will host its third annual Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) Roadmap workshop on Dec. 12 in Sacramento to update stakeholders and the public on vehicle-grid integration research activities, the progress of demonstration projects and to solicit feedback on ideas for future research.

Vehicle-grid integration is a process where plug-in electric vehicles are used as distributed energy resources to help manage loads on the electric grid. California has set a goal to have 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2025. Many of those are expected to be electric vehicles.

Distributed generation resources are relatively small-scale electrical or energy storage system connected to the grid to provide energy services. These resources help increase the stability and reliability of the electric grid and lower ratepayer costs by helping to balance load fluctuations during periods of heavy demand.

Normally, utilities accomplish this by ramping large generators up and down, sometimes on a minute-to-minute basis. However, electric vehicles can generate or store electricity when parked, so they can be used to provide readily available energy to the electric grid.

But the process is not as simple as plugging the vehicle into a socket or charger, flipping a switch and reversing the flow of electricity. New regulatory policies, standards and business practices will have to be established. Tools like smart communication and control systems and must be developed. Potential market costs and benefits will need to be assessed. Demonstration projects such as the one funded by the Department of the Defense and the Energy Commission at Los Angeles Air Force Base will have be evaluated to help ensure a smooth path toward VGI implementation.

The workshop is sponsored by the Energy Commission, California Independent System Operator, California Public Utilities Commission, California Air Resources Board and other state and associated agencies.

Details on the workshop and instructions for how to participate remotely can be found in the workshop notice.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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