Electric vehicles provide electricity to the U.S. power grid

Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:03am IST

The sun rises over electric power lines in Encinitas, California September 4, 2007. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files

The sun rises over electric power lines in Encinitas, California September 4, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake/Files

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REUTERS - U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc(NRG.N) said on Friday a technology it developed with the University of Delaware has sold power from electric vehicles to the power grid for the first time.

The University and NRG said in a statement that they began work on the so-called eV2g program in September 2011 to provide a two-way interface between electric vehicles and the power grid that enables vehicle owners to sell electricity back to the grid while they are charging their cars.

NRG said the project became an official participant in the PJM frequency regulation market on February 27. The system is still in development and not yet a commercial offering.

PJM operates the power grid for 60 million people in 13 U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states and the District of Columbia.

Frequency regulation is used to balance supply and demand on the grid second-by-second.

"This demonstrates that (electric vehicles) can provide both mobility and stationary power while helping make the grid more resilient and ultimately generating revenue for electric vehicle owners," NRG Executive Vice President Denise Wilson, who leads the company's emerging businesses, said in the statement.

Electric vehicles can act as energy storage, allowing power grid operators like PJM to balance the power provided by intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar.

A key aspect of the technology, NRG said, is that it can aggregate power from multiple electric vehicles to create one larger power resource.

BMW, a unit of German car maker Bayerische Motoren Werke AG(BMWG.DE), provided the electric vehicles.

Milbank Manufacturing provided the charging stations.

NRG said the technology is expected to be used at first by managers of commercial electric vehicle fleets, providing revenue while the vehicles are parked, with individual electric vehicle owners to eventually follow.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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