The California Energy Commission has issued a solicitation (PON-14-310, Driving the Integration of Electric Vehicles to Maximize Benefits to the Grid) to fund Applied Research and Development projects that will advance technologies and strategies for smart and efficient charging and vehicle-to-grid communication interfaces that will provide maximum benefits to both the electricity grid and the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market.
There is up to $4 million available for grants awarded under this solicitation. The minimum funding amount for each project is $500,000; maximum funding amount is $1.5 million. Match funding is not required for this solicitation; however, applications that include match funding will receive additional points during the scoring phase.
California is targeting 1.5 million zero emission vehicles by 2025, a large portion of which are expected to be PEVs. Unmanaged charging of electric vehicles could lead to an increase in peak demand, therefore technologies and strategies are needed to encourage plug-in electric vehicle drivers to charge during times when grid demand is low and/or renewable sources are abundant, the Commission said.
Vehicle-to-grid technologies have the potential to support the stability and reliability of the electricity grid; however, there is still uncertainly as to how control and communication between the vehicles and electricity grid operators will work most effectively.
To be considered for funding, projects must fall within the following project groups:
Group 1: Smart and efficient charging for integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the power grid. The Energy Commission seeks projects that investigate and pilot strategies that advance smart charging through the development of tools and methods that extend beyond the current state of technology.
Group 2: Grid communication interfaces for plug-in electric vehicle charging to support vehicle-to-grid services. The Energy Commission seeks projects that develop advanced grid communication interfaces for plug-in electric vehicle charging to support vehicle-to-grid services which may include services provided to utilities, coordinating the charging of clusters of plug-in electric vehicles along individual feeders, and remote control and data communications for utilities and third party aggregators.