University of Delaware enters into partnership to harness energy from electric vehicles

The University of Delaware will work with a commercial company to harness the power of plug-in electric vehicles. 

The technology was developed at UD, which allows  owners of electric vehicles to sell power stored in their vehicles’ batteries back to the electric grid while the car is plugged in and not being driven.  Now, NRG Energy and UD are partners in eV2G (Electric Vehicle-to-Grid), a joint venture to commercialize the technology.

UD professor Willett Kempton of the College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment, said at a signing ceremony in Newark that this will tap into a huge potential source of energy from cars that are, on average, idle for 23 hours a day.

“An electric car, which is often near an electrical outlet when parked, can be a valuable asset for the electric grid,” Kempton said.

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Kempton and other researchers have been involved in the pioneering technology for several years.

“We hope to bring storage capacity and stability to the US electricity supply,” said University of Delaware President Patrick Harker.

NRG is based in Princeton, New Jersey and owns and operates power plants, including the Indian River plant in Sussex County. 

“eV2g technology will for the first time offer a true two-way interface between EVs and the electric grid, resulting in cost savings to EV fleet operators and eventually other EV owners and consumers, and cleaner and more reliable electricity for everybody,” NRG President of Alternative Energy Services Denise Wilson said.

Electric vehicles that become registered through the program would “communicate” with the electricity grid.  Grid operators would be able to take power from connected EV’s during periods of peak usage.  The grid operator would make payments to eV2g, which would pay the owners for making their vehicle’s stored energy available to the grid.

Owners would be able to schedule in advance times when their vehicle might take longer to charge, such as in advance of a long trip.

     WHYY’s newsmagazine First profiled the Vehicle-to-Grid technology in a story last year.  You can see some of the technology in action in the video below.

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