Nuvve Corporation, a San Diego-based vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology company, is participating in a program to deliver resource adequacy to local utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and California’s electrical grid using a large stationary battery located on the University of California San Diego’s (UC San Diego’s) campus microgrid.
Nuvve began using the microgrid’s 5 MWh lithium-ion battery, which historically focused on the management of campus energy peaks, to bid into wholesale energy markets in June 2020.
During the August 2020 heat wave, where day-ahead energy prices spiked above $1,000 per megawatt-hour (MWh) and rotating blackouts were ordered across the state, Nuvve worked with UC San Diego research and utility department staff to support the California grid by reducing electricity demand through multiple, strategic actions, including the discharge of the lithium battery during critical peak load periods; reduction of V2G electric vehicle loads; injection of energy into the campus grid; and increased self-generation coordinated by campus utility staff at the university’s cogeneration power plant.
Leveraging these diverse assets located within the UC San Diego microgrid to reduce demand for electricity provides an important example as California explores the use of microgrids and distributed resources such as batteries, solar power, and electric vehicles.
The UC San Diego 47 MW-peak microgrid includes a variety of generation and storage resources used to meet campus electricity demands, which includes loads such as a supercomputing center, research laboratories, and a hospital.
Due to the microgrid’s size and diversity of resources, enrollment in wholesale energy markets required significant collaboration with key stakeholders to confirm a path for market participation.
Nuvve partnered with Leap as a demand response provider and CAISO-certified scheduling coordinator to lead the market access process, and to coordinate with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) and SDG&E.
Nuvve offers AC and DC charging station options which are preconfigured to work with NUVVE’s Grid Integrated Platform (GIVe). The technology is compatible with several charger manufacturers both in DC (such as CHAdeMO or CCS) and AC mode (J1772, J3068), and in single or three-phase configurations.
The GIVe Platform controls the charger in two ways: unidirectional mode where the charge rate is intelligently controlled; and bidirectional mode—V2G—where the battery can both charge and discharge and rates are controlled.
Leap operates a leading marketplace for grid flexibility focused on Distributed Energy Resources. The work to enable this market access and grid support during the heatwave was made possible by the Nuvve-led INVENT project, funded by an EPIC grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC).
Nuvve plans to expand its footprint in California energy markets by leveraging V2G technology deployed via electric school buses and light-duty vehicles.
The large batteries from each school bus, ranging from 125 kWh to 250 kWh, may be aggregated at each site to provide the grid with much needed flexibility, and in the future, can also serve as emergency back-up.
Nuvve and Blue Bird Corporation, the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, recently announced the availability of Blue Bird’s Vision Type C and All American Type D electric school buses enabled with Nuvve’s V2G technology.
Both Blue Bird bus types are now equipped with a standard CCS connector capable of V2G charging and discharging of the 155 kWh batteries that allow up to 120 miles of range on a single charge. With Nuvve’s latest V2G 60kW DC CCS charging station, the buses can be fully charged in approximately three hours. This charging solution fully complies with new V2G interconnection regulations and meets UL-1741-SA certification requirements specifically mandated for California V2G installations.
Nuvve’s solution enables electric buses, which are parked most hours of the day, to store energy while connected. This storage essentially turns electric buses into mobile battery resources that can then be aggregated together to act as virtual power plants (VPPs). At times of extreme grid stress, such as during a heat wave, electric buses can be deployed to provide the grid with additional energy capacity to help prevent brownouts, blackouts, or even failure. Nuvve also plans to enable electric buses with emergency back-up power functionality in the future to mitigate the impacts of lost power during wildfires or other natural disasters.
The new joint offer from Nuvve and Blue Bird is available through Blue Bird’s national dealer network who can provide assistance to districts through the entire electric bus implementation process, including financing of the buses chargers, installation support, fleet management services, and V2G services.