Hawaiian utility signs Greenlots for EV-smart grid interoperability pilot


In a press statement, HECO said the collaboration aims to test electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy storage interoperability.

Under the project, Greenlots has agreed to provide its vehicle-grid integration technology ‘SKY Smart Charging’ for integration in the power utility’s EV charger in West Oahu, Hawaii.

HECO said the project, falling under the Hawaiian Electric Power Research institute, aims to increase adoption of EVs through establishment of adequate supporting infrastructure and technologies.

Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service said: “With our state’s 100-percent renewable portfolio goals, we are working to support the build out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to provide EV drivers with range confidence.”

The integration will allow storage of power generated from renewable sources during off-peak periods, for utilization during peak use times.

In addition, the solution permits EV users to locate fast charge stations as well as pay their charging bills online using the Greenlots mobile app.

HECO also announced it plans to integrate SKYSmart at its fifth fast charge station set to be developed in March.

SKYSmart provides EV users an 80% charge within 30 minutes.

Brett Hauser, CEO of Greenlots reiterated: “Increasingly, utilities are looking toward open standards-based charging to be utilized in energy management strategies.”

Electronic vehicles in North America

The development marks an increase in efforts by utilities in North America towards developing smart grid infrastructure for increased adoption of EVs.

In mid-January, EV smart grid charging company EMotorWerks was awarded demand-side contracts from California investor-owned utilities.

The development meant EMotorWerks will participate in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO)’s Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM).

EMotorWerks will provide precise EV charging load curtailment from its JuiceNet network of EV charging stations to the wholesale real-time energy markets.

The participation of EMotorWerks in CAISO marked the first aggregated EV charging station offering within the real-time energy market.

EMotorWerks claimed JuiceNet enables directly-controlled electrical assets to provide near-instantaneous response to CAISO signals using its cloud-based load management and dispatch.

For EV charging loads, the solution provides predictive modelling that aligns driver behaviour and charging needs with local and regional level energy requirements of the grid.

DRAM is a California program that allows demand response capacity providers to be paid monthly for energy reductions they promise to deliver in the coming year.