Platte River study on smart EV charging in Colorado
March 6, 2019
Enel subsidiary eMotorWerks and Platte River Power Authority are carrying out an electric vehicle charging study in Colorado to develop smart charging services at scale.
Platte River is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider in Colorado. The study will explore flexible charging services in support of Platte River's energy diversification goals in the electricity and transportation sectors.
Platte River's study will be the first large-scale residential smart EV charging initiative in Colorado, serving communities in the municipalities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland. Participating EV drivers can schedule preferred charging periods taking into consideration the most cost-effective times of use and monitor charging remotely via eMotorWerks' JuiceNet app.
Powered by JuiceNet, eMotorWerks' JuiceBox charging station will be available for purchase via Platte River's EfficiencyWorks store with a $200 instant rebate provided by Platte River, and the first 100 JuiceBox participants will receive an additional instant manufacturer discount. With JuiceNet, users can programme EV charging times, which can benefit utility customers on time-of-day rates and can also save drivers and their utility money and electricity resources by delaying charging to non-peak times of use.
"As demand for renewable energy grows significantly to power EVs, valuing and procuring EV flexibility services in the form of smart charging is critically important within the process of decarbonising the electricity and transportation sectors economically," said Preston Roper, general manager of Enel X e-mobility in North America. "We are looking forward to helping more Colorado communities go electric with the state's first smart EV charging programme."
With an initial target of 250 participating EVs, eMotorWerks and Platte River are deploying a demand response-enabled system in the service territory, which could reduce electricity costs and boost renewable penetration. EMotorWerks has proven smart charging capabilities at scale in California and beyond via JuiceNet, which collectively acts as a virtual battery for the grid.
JuiceNet can delay or reduce charging schedules across that portfolio of EV charging, based on signals from utilities or grid operators, while prioritising individual driver mobility requirements and preferences, as well as compensating drivers for their flexibility.
"Smart EV charging aligns well with Platte River's core pillars of providing reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable electricity and services to our owner communities," said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River. "As our renewable portfolio continues to expand, a better understanding of EV owner consumption patterns will provide valuable insight and allow consumers to participate in our energy future."
Currently, eMotorWerks says it is the only EV charging provider to participate in wholesale day-ahead and real-time markets, dynamically managing charging loads to balance grid demand, reduce wholesale energy procurement costs and mitigate the intermittency of renewables.
By delivering smart EV charging services to electricity grids, environmental and social benefits arising from sustainable mobility can be achieved and magnified as EV adoption grows. Furthermore, smart charging lets drivers conveniently charge during non-peak periods, if available from the local electric utility.
According to a recent report from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, smart EV charging can exert downward pressure on electricity rates over time by achieving higher and more even use of existing grids, avoiding investments in new grid infrastructure. More efficient use of power infrastructure can enable greater savings for all relevant parties involved, from EV drivers to utilities.