SDG&E unveils country’s first operational vehicle-to-grid project

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced it has successfully implemented a two-way charging setup that will allow eight electric school buses in the Cajon Valley Union School District to put electricity back on the grid. The partnership with technology company Nuvve is the first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project to become operational in the country.

The Department of Energy has Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Initiative in April, and SDG&E is a signatory of the MOU departments. As part of the five-year pilot project, SDG&E installed six 60 kW bi-directional DC fast chargers at the Cajon Valley bus terminal in El Cajon, California.

“This pilot project is a great example of how our region is leading the way in testing and adopting innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the power grid,” said Miguel Romero, Vice President of Energy Innovation at SDG&E. “Electric fleets represent a huge untapped resource for energy storage and have enormous potential to serve our customers and the community not only environmentally, but also financially and economically.”

Cars are parked on average 95% of the time. California is home to 1.1 million EVs, the largest concentration of EVs in the nation. Beginning in 2035, all new cars and trucks sold in California must be zero-emissions. Many local agencies and local businesses are working to transition to electric fleets under SDG&E’s Power Your Drive for Fleets program, which provides infrastructure support. In addition to Cajon Valley, SDG&E also collaborates with San Diego Unified and Ramona Unified School Districts on V2G projects.

“Pilots like these are critical to advancing industry knowledge and commercialization of new technologies that help create jobs and build a clean energy future,” said Rima Oueid, Office of Technology Transitions Commercialization Executive. “I’m excited to see this project go live less than three months after the DOE launched our V2X initiative, validating the value of public-private partnerships.”

Now that the bi-directional chargers are up and running, Cajon Valley can participate in SDG&E’s new Emergency Tax Reduction Program (ELRP)paying business customers $2/kWh if they export energy to the grid or reduce energy consumption during grid emergencies.

“We took the opportunity to be a part of this pilot project because of its potential to help us build a healthier community and better serve our students,” said Assistant Superintendent Scott Buxbaum. “If we can reduce our energy and vehicle maintenance costs through this project, it will free up more resources for our schools and students.”

V2G technology works by charging batteries on board vehicles during the day when energy, especially renewable energy such as solar, is abundant. The batteries then discharge clean electricity back to the grid during peak hours or other periods of high demand.

“School buses are an excellent use case for V2G,” said Gregory Poilasne, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Nuvve. “They contain larger batteries than standard vehicles and can spend parked and connected to bi-directional chargers during peak hours. Nuvve’s technology allows the grid to pull power from a bus when it’s most needed, yet ensure the bus has enough stored power to operate when it’s needed.”

News item from SDG&E

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