The Electric Nation vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project run by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge has added Green Energy UK as an energy partner.
The project is using four different energy partners – with Flexitricity announced as the first in October 2020 – and is designed to test the ability of electric vehicles (EVs) to provide flexibility for the grid, with the multiple partners enabling a more realistic simulation of a future in which many streets may have a number of EVs using V2G chargers with different suppliers.
Twenty-five applicants to the Electric Nation trial will be offered the opportunity to join the project with the Green Energy UK and CrowdCharge proposition.
EV drivers will inform the CrowdCharge platform when they next need their car and how much energy – or how many miles – they will need for the next day, with CrowdCharge ensuring these needs are met. Green Energy UK will send instructions to the CrowdCharge platform, which connects to the V2G charger, to tailor the charging schedule to help align its generation and supply.
Participants who meet the minimum requirement of 15 full plug-in cycles per month from 6pm to 5am can earn free miles of electricity, with Green Energy UK supplying 50 free miles per week.
This proposition includes a two-rate export tariff, meaning if an EV is plugged in and available at Green Energy UK’s higher export rate tariff participants have the potential to earn V2G benefits if CrowdCharge exports electricity to support the grid and then recovers this energy at a low cost overnight.
Those with solar PV will also see CrowdCharge configure the project hardware installation to absorb as much excess solar as possible into the EV’s battery.
WPD’s DSO development manager, Paul Jewell, said the project will give "real insight into the behaviour of V2G customers and how they are helping shape the demands on our network", with the network operator "particularly pleased" to be working with more than one electricity supplier as it will hopefully enable the effects of "different approaches taken in the supply markets" to be seen.
Electric Nation is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales to take part in the trial, with over 575 drivers having applied so far.
Applicants must be have a Nissan EV with a battery capacity of at least 30kWh or more, have an EV until the end of the trial in March 2022 and have off-road parking.
They will need to use the CrowdCharge mobile app to manage charging, they may need to switch to a new energy tariff if required by their assigned project energy supplier and may need to have a new smart meter put in/updated as part of the project participation.