The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) initiated a pilot program designed to integrate plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into Michigan’s electric grid. The pilot program will be part of the MPSC’s ongoing smart grid collaborative, established in 2007.
The Commission notes that achieving a high penetration of PHEVs that retains the stability of the electric grid is dependent on smart grid infrastructure research and development. Therefore, the MPSC is requiring all regulated electric distribution companies to participate in the smart grid collaborative, expanded by the order to include PHEV pilot projects. The MPSC encourages other interested parties to participate as well.
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability has identified seven principal characteristics of a smart electric grid:
Self-Healing: A grid able to rapidly detect, analyze, respond, and restore from perturbations.
Empower and Incorporate the Consumer: A grid able to incorporate consumer equipment and behavior.
Tolerant of a Security Attack: A grid that mitigates and stands resilient to physical and cyber security attack.
Provides Power Quality Needed by 21st Century Users: A grid that provides a quality of power consistent with consumer and industry needs.
Accommodates a Wide Variety of Generation Options: A grid that allows and takes advantage of a wide variety of local and regional generation technologies (including green power).
Fully Enables Electricity Markets: A grid that fully enables maturing electricity markets.
Optimizes Asset Utilization: A grid that employs IT and monitoring technologies to continually optimize its capital assets while minimizing operations and maintenance costs (O&M) costs
To ensure that Michigan makes use of emerging technologies that enable the smart grid, the MSPC ordered its staff in April 2007 to convene a collaborative process to monitor national smart power grid infrastructure developments. When options appear cost-effective and practical to implement, the MPSC staff has been directed to establish evaluation criteria and standards that would trigger pilot programs or broader deployment in Michigan.
The PHEV aspect of the MSPC smart grid collaborative will include:
Using actual vehicles, some of which incorporate V2G systems, if and when available;
Analyzing the environmental effects in Michigan of PHEVs at low, medium and high levels of adoption, with and without V2G capability;
Analyzing the effect of PHEVs on Michigan utility and regional electric system load duration curves and the effect of PHEV market penetration on generation mix and capacity requirements;
Analyzing the technical issues related to the participation of V2G in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operators’ ancillary services market; and
Analyzing meter and time-based pricing policies for electricity used to charge electric vehicles.
The order expanding the smart grid collaborative to include PHEV projects directs the MPSC staff to submit annual reports on the status of the PHEV collaborative, with the first report due by June 30, 2009. Interim reports may be filed, as appropriate.
The Commission encourages transmission providers, customers and customer groups, Michigan universities and colleges, automotive manufacturers and suppliers, and other electric industry stakeholders to participate in the collaborative.
As the automotive leader of the world, Michigan is uniquely equipped to lead the effort to integrate plug-in hybrid vehicles into its electric grid. The widespread adoption of PHEVs has the potential to significantly reduce gasoline consumption, while reducing the overall greenhouse gas emissions produced in the state.
The success of plug-in hybrid vehicles is dependent on the deployment of intelligent grid technology. So, this represents a unique opportunity for Michigan’s electric utilities to expand sales, without contributing to system peak, while simultaneously reducing the overall level of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and utility sectors.—MPSC Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu, a member of the Smart Grid Collaborative effort between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)