UK Power Networks (UKPN) has released the first results of its study aiming to unlock the potential of airport car parks for the UK energy transition.
With UKPN describing airport car parks as the “sleeping giant” of the energy transition, the distribution network operator’s ‘Park and Flex’ study focuses on charging EVs when demand and costs are low, as well as the potential of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology to provide additional power for the grid.
Early research has found that more than 1.3 million homes could be powered via this method.
UKPN disclosed that: “The potential of 4.3GW of flexible electricity demand could play a major role in helping London, the east and south-east of England, reduce its carbon emissions and sufficiently decarbonise.”
Interestingly, the study estimates around £1.3 billion in flexible energy savings could be made by 2050 if V2G charging is rolled out across the 140,000 long-stay parking spaces in the areas served by UKPN in the south and east of England.
“As more and more people begin to adopt green technologies, we’re able to innovate and explore tangible scenarios that could make a real difference on the path to net zero,” said Ian Cameron, director of customer service and innovation at UKPN.
“Through Park and Flex, we foresee a world where dormant vehicles can be used as the building blocks for one of the UK’s biggest flex batteries. This dynamic battery, fuelled by thousands upon thousands of electric vehicles could play a massive role in creating a new green energy supply, and could do so without customers having to lift a finger.”
The Park and Flex project is being developed alongside Fermata Energy and energy consultancy Baringa.
Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy said: “With ramping sales of EVs, gigawatts of energy storage capacity can be accessed with bi-directional (V2G) charging to support UK distribution networks during peak events.
“Airports have enormous public car parks and large electrical systems throughout. With thousands of vehicles parked for hours to days at a time, enormous value can be unlocked in key grid locations providing resilience and stability, while lowering costs. This first-of-its kind Park and Flex study will demonstrate the scalable benefits of V2G technology in public car parks for grid networks and consumers alike.”
Current± publisher Solar Media is hosting its EV World Congress event in London this 10-11 October. The conference will focus on some of the key discussion points from across the EV sector including delivering coherent EV charging strategies, whether the UK is on course for its 2030 charging target, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology and more. More information, including how to attend, can be read here.