Smart grid integration of EVs pilots in Germany
Northeast German DSO Mitnetz Strom and Volkswagen subsidiary Elli have launched a nationwide electric vehicle (EV) grid integration pilot.
In the first step, around 20 drivers of Volkswagen models ID.3, ID.4 or ID.5 are participating in making their EVs part of the energy system and increasingly using green electricity from the region for charging.
The concept underlying the project is an algorithm that uses price incentives to compare the cars’ charging plans with the regional electricity output from renewable energies and the available capacities in the distribution grid.
The resulting flexible grid usage is intended to reduce the frequency of bottlenecks in the power grid and utilise renewable generation that might otherwise be curtailed and to create financial benefits for the participants.
“Together, we are supporting the energy and transport transition locally and investing in the energy future. E-mobility and the energy industry are working hand in hand here,” says Michael Lehmann, Head of Process and System Management at Mitnetz Strom.
“EVs can run on green electricity and relieve the strain on the power grid where it is particularly needed. We can prevent bottlenecks in the local grid by using newly developed software to allocate charging processes for EVs to the available grid capacities. The concept now provides us with important insights into whether our approach is customer friendly.”
In Germany, around 6,200GWh of renewable electricity had to be switched off in 2020 due to the limited capacity of the power grid – an amount that would allow 2.6 million EVs to drive for a year.
With intelligent charging management, the goal is to increase the proportion of renewables fed into the grid.
Participants are provided with Elli’s smartphone charging app into which they enter their charging requests. Based on this information, the regional feed-in of green electricity and available capacity in the power grid, an optimised charging plan is determined when the EV is connected to the wallbox.
Participants also are being offered vouchers for free charging at the public charging infrastructure, among other benefits.
The other key partner in the project is the local energy management consultancy E-Bridge.
The first results from the pilot are expected in the autumn.