A North London bus garage is on the verge of becoming one of the world’s largest vehicle-to-grid (V2G) virtual power stations.
The project was announced by British energy firm SSE Enterprise and is being conducted in collaboration with bus operator Go-Ahead London, according to a statement released by the company.
According to the announcement, the Northumberland Park bus garage will be transformed and integrated into the UK’s Bus2Grid project.
The Bus2Grid project is described as “a first of a kind large scale, multi-megawatt, demonstration of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology in electric bus depots in London” and is being partly funded by the Government. The project will allow electric buses parked at the garage to plug in and feed stored electricity back into the grid to provide grid balancing during times of peak demand.
The trial will initially be starting out using 28 electric double-decker buses, which are capable of returning over 1MW of electricity back into the grid.
According to SSE Enterprise, if the entire fleet of London buses – which amounts to around 9,000 vehicles – were converted to electric with the ability to feed back into the grid, they could collectively meet the energy needs of over 150,000 homes.
“Central to the challenge of decarbonising our transport and achieving climate change targets is how we can optimise the existing flexibility within the energy system,” said Niall Riddell, a director at SSE.
“Developing a charging infrastructure that operates in two directions so that batteries can give back as well as take from the grid is an important part of this.”
“Electrifying transport will have huge benefits for air quality in cities and for meeting our climate change commitments,” added Dr Stephen Hall, from the University of Leeds.
“Large electric vehicles like these can also support the energy system, but this means creating new ways of working between energy utilities, grid managers and transport providers. This project is creating new business models to make this happen.”
As to whether the project is the biggest vehicle-to-grid project in the world, The Driven covered news back in May of Fiat Chrysler’s plans to build its own V2G project in Italy which, when completed, will consist of 32 V2G columns servicing 64 electric vehicles at once.
Further, the project could then be expanded by the end of 2021 to include the capability of connecting up to 700 electric vehicles to the grid, supplying as much as 25MW of electricity.
“The project is acting as our laboratory to experiment on and develop an offering to add value in the energy markets,” said Di Stefano in a statement in May.
“On average, cars remain unused for 80-90 percent of the day. During this long period, if connected to the grid by Vehicle-to-Grid technology, customers can therefore receive money or free energy in exchange for the balancing service offered, without compromising their mobility needs in any way.
“In addition, this project forms part of a broader context of the technology partnership that has stood between ENGIE Eps and FCA since 2016. The main, tangible objective of this partnership is to reduce the cost of FCA electric vehicle lifecycles, via specific offers exclusive to our customers,” said Di Stefano.