Off-peak charging of electric vehicles required in New York


Stephen G. Whitley,
President & CEO,
Rensselaer, NY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 30, 2009 – Rate design to encourage off-peak charging of electric vehicles, coupled with time-of-use rates, and smart grid and advanced metering initiatives would facilitate favorable charging behavior within New York, according to a new report from the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).

Advanced communication protocols between the recharging location and an evolving smart grid could also facilitate effective management of charging patterns, says the report, adding that the production profile of wind resources in New York, which tends to be greatest in the early morning hours, correlates very well with off-peak charging of electric vehicles, creating the potential for a synergy between wind generation and transportation energy needs.

The report was prepared to review the potential impact of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology on grid operations and electricity system planning in New York State.

Two studies, one by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the other by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), concluded that the incremental load for PHEVs in New York would be in the range of 7,000-8,000 GWh/yr by 2030, the report says. If the charging pattern of PHEVs is not managed effectively, loads of this size could require significant additional generation capacity.

However, PHEV load can also migrate and occur intermittently, as PHEV charging opportunities expand beyond the owner’s home and depend on travel schedules. If charging patterns are managed properly, PHEVs with loads in the range predicted by these studies could be served by the existing New York bulk power system. The migratory nature of this load, however, does require further analysis to fully assess the impact of PHEV load on local electric distribution systems.

“PHEVs and other electric powered vehicles hold the promise of significant environmental and economic benefits,” commented Stephen G. Whitley, NYISO president and CEO. “If New York motorists start plugging in significant numbers of PHEVs, we will see new demands on the grid. However, if deployed with technology and incentives to encourage favorable charging patterns, PHEVs can offer valuable new ways to store electricity produced in off-peak periods.”

The report says that with the given range of charging demands for PHEVs of 1-6 kW, it is comparable to air conditioning load and so most individual residences could support PHEV charging load. However, estimating the number of additional PHEVs that can be supported on each local distribution circuit for simultaneous recharging is currently not known.

It is possible that one of the greater challenges for the successful deployment of PHEVs will be delivering the electricity to the last mile on the local distribution system, the report says.

The NYISO will continue to monitor PHEV, charging infrastructure and protocol developments as this new segment of the transportation sector matures to identify the potential impact on the electric system. Identifying the impacts of emerging PHEV technology under a host of charging scenarios can also assist policy makers to make informed decisions on how energy regulation and rate structure can beneficially influence PHEV development.