Pioneering work by GMP is expanding the possibilities of stored energy for customers – and saving them money! GMP is the first utility to use stored energy from an electric vehicle’s battery to help reduce peak demand on the grid. Reducing energy use during peaks saves GMP customers money, because peaks are when energy can be most expensive and carbon intensive.
How did we do it? With something called V2G technology. V2G is vehicle-to-grid energy flow – back and forth from a vehicle to the grid – and it’s done with an innovative electric vehicle charger. In October, GMP used a Fermata Energy bi-directional charger operated by Fermata’s V2G software system at GMP’s Colchester office and started using it to charge one of our fleet vehicles – an all-electric Nissan Leaf. Employees use the car to get around during the day. And now, GMP is also using stored energy in the Nissan’s battery to help reduce peak energy use. It is the first time this has been done in ‘real-world’ conditions – and the car still has plenty of power to drive!
“This is an important first-step in proving that vehicle-to-grid technology is possible. GMP has long committed to using advancements in energy technology to increase clean energy storage capabilities so that we can deploy that power when it’s needed most to reduce carbon and costs for all customers,” said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO.
What’s next? We plan to launch a pilot program for customers within the coming year and offer this option to businesses who are electrifying their fleets of cars and busses. It will help them manage their own peak demand to lower their costs – and help save money for all GMP customers at the same time.
“This is an exciting example of how electric vehicles can help transform the grid. Transportation is the top cause of carbon pollution in our state, so shifting to electric vehicles is one of the most important things we can do. We see this innovative work that GMP is doing as yet another way to harness the many benefits that driving electric offers to Vermont and Vermonters,” said Jared Duval, executive director of Energy Action Network.
This innovative V2G work builds on GMP’s successful customer programs with batteries – like Tesla Powerwalls in customers’ homes and utility scale power packs at solar sites. GMP turns to this growing network of stored energy during peak demand times on the grid to help lower costs for customers and carbon emissions. It fits with a broader strategy that has delivered on the Company’s clean energy goals and commitment to keeping costs in check. In 2020 alone, GMP and its customers have stored and dispatched 6.7 gigawatt-hours of energy, equivalent to powering 550 homes for a full year. We have been able to shave peak demand this year by 177 megawatts, reducing $3.2 million in costs for customers and reducing carbon by about 6.8 million pounds, which is like taking 660 gas powered cars off the road for one year.