V2X* as a Solution to the Duck Curve

By Dr. Jose Torre-Bueno, CCE Executive Director

Executive Summary

The state of California has a goal of having eight million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2030. The vast majority of these will be battery electric vehicles (EV). This could either exacerbate the problem of providing energy when the sun goes down and solar power becomes unavailable (the so-called “duck curve”) or be a major source of support for the grid if vehicles are allowed to send power from their batteries when parked at charging stations (EVSE, Electric Vehicle Service Equipment). This is variously referred to as V2G (vehicle to grid), V2H (vehicle to home), or V2X (vehicle to anything).

Thee “Duck Curve” – Source: California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO)

Currently V2X is not considered a potential source of grid stabilization in the CA Public Utility Commission’s (CPUC) planning process.  As is, this will lead to the approval of costly grid infrastructure that will be needed to support transportation electrification.

The Center for Community Energy is proposing an alternative model in which vehicles are charged during the day with power from local solar arrays mounted over parking lots. These vehicles could then carry charge home and use some of it where they are parked at night.

  • This would reduce the need to upgrade the grid and would apply to both large scale transmission infrastructure and local distribution and transformers.
  • For drivers who have a V2X connection at home, these owners could help tame the duck curve by using some of the energy from their car batteries to power their homes thus reducing the need for power from the grid in the evening when energy is needed most.
  • For drivers who do not have access to EV charging equipment at home (e.g., residents in multi-unit housing) it would enable charging during the day while at work or at other locations that offer charging equipment, thus make EV ownership possible for more people and at much less cost than would be required to pay for the kinds of massive grid upgrades proposed to be able to add charging facilities to buildings without adequate service.
  • It would also create a new source of local revenues and keep funds local that would otherwise have left the community. Since the necessary infrastructure would be built and owned by local businesses there would be no need for utility rate increases to pay for massive new grid infrastructure.

*V2X: Vehicle-to-Everything, e.g., Home, Building, Device, etc.