California utility partners to increase EV charging infrastructure


The two parties will implement a programme called ‘SmartCharge EV’ to increase the number of EVs and charging stations in MCE’s service territory.

MCE is aiming to develop EV charging infrastructure enough to support some 25,000 EVs in its service territory by 2020. Currently, MCE’s grid network caters for charging of some 4,000 EVs in the utility’s service territory.

The SmartCharge EV project is set to begin in January 2017.

Under the project, eMotorwerks will develop EV charging stations which will use the firm’s cloud-based JuiceNet platform to communicate with MCE’s grid network in real-time.

EV owners will be able to access real-time data regarding the status of the MCE’s grid system using their mobile devices.

EVs adoption and grid reliability

The communication between MCE’s grid network and EV charging stations will help the utility firm achieve a reliable grid network.

The technology will help owners of EVs to reduce their energy costs by avoiding charging their vehicles during peak demand periods.

[quote] MCE is planning to use the project to increase its clean energy portfolio to meet carbon emission reduction targets.

The programme will reduce the utility’s operational costs by ensuring the company invests less in new generation sources.

MCE will improve its customer services by providing its customers with affordable electricity generated from less expensive energy generation resources.

Participants of the project will be rewarded for avoiding charging their EVs during peak periods. [MCE selects AutoGrid for rollout of DR pilot].

Valery Miftakhov, CEO of eMotorWerks, said: “The demand for electric vehicle charging in Northern California is growing much faster than many anticipated. From a grid standpoint, the amount of energy required to charge an EV is the same as an entire house.

“With that type of load demand and EV proliferation, utilities and grid operators can only hope to maintain grid reliability and stability, without building new power plants, through an ability to communicate and manage the energy these EVs are drawing and when.”

MCE provides electricity to consumers in US counties of Marin and Napa, and in cities of Benicia, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Richmond, San Pablo and Walnut Creek.


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