Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and BMW are to collaborate in a pilot programme to test the potential for electric vehicle (EV) batteries to provide services to the electric grid.
During the 18-month-programme, BMW will provide at least 100KW to PG&E’s demand response management services.
The goal is to reduce the total cost of EV ownership while demonstrating the ability to integrate renewable energy into the grid.
If PG&E need needs to curb customer demand, the utility will send an alert via Internet to BMW. The carmaker will then signal the telemetry equipment in each of the 100 participating BMW i3 vehicle in the San Francisco Bay area, telling it to halt its charging for the duration of the event. The power utility will pay BMW for the services.
The automaker will also create an energy storage unit at the California-based BMW office in Mountain View, using lithium-ion batteries that were once installed in Mini E demonstration vehicles.
“We have more than 60,000 electric vehicles in our service area,” said Aaron Johnson, senior director of Customer Programs at PG&E. “Collectively, they represent a huge and growing resource that we can potentially tap to provide more flexible, lower cost, and cleaner energy for our customers.”
Participating drivers will receive $1,000 initially and an additional reward of up to $540 at the conclusion of the programme, based on their level of participation.