German power grids launch electric car project with Bosch, Volkswagen
German power grid firms 50Hertz and Stromnetz Berlin on Friday launched a programme in cooperation with subsidiaries of Volkswagen AG and Bosch to find out how electric-car batteries can help stabilise power networks.
The 18-month programme aims at assessing what digital measuring and control systems are needed to enable linked-up electric vehicles (EVs) to provide balancing power to the electricity market, 50Hertz said in a statement.
The German government aims to have around 7 million to 10 million EVs on the road by 2030, which will have to be integrated into distribution grids that absorb renewable power and deliver power to end consumers.
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Many EV owners will likely charge up their batteries at home, making it necessary for them to contribute to system security to avoid network overloads at times of mass-charging.
The need to match supply and demand digitally opens up new opportunities for all stakeholders, the statement said.
For example, EV owners could earn discounts on their power bills by feeding power back onto grids at times of undersupply of weather-driven renewable power.
Grids must be kept stable in the transition to carbon-free power but the volatility of wind and solar plants threatens to cause disruptions.
"To ensure that (EVs) can also contribute to system security, we need data exchanges between all market players based on the smart meter infrastructure," said Thomas Schaefer, managing director of Stromnetz Berlin, which operates the low-voltage grid in the German capital.
50Hertz is involved as a leader in integrating high shares of renewable power into cross-country power lines.
The inclusion of Elli, a renewable power provider to customers of carmaker VW, is aimed at preparing for the bundling of individual cars' storage capacities.
IO, a subsidiary of automotive supplier Bosch, will supply software systems to link grids and charging points.