Impact of the study



The feasibility study has identified a commercially viable and technically possible method for commercial premises to support the increased use of electric vehicles.  The method when implemented provides support for the low cost charging of electric vehicles using renewable energy sources (solar, wind and biomass) to produce zero/low emissions electric vehicles for use in communizing to work and for commercial activities in urban environments.

In addition to the transport emissions benefits there are benefits to the owners of the commercial premises and the owners of the local energy grid.  The managed approach provided by the virtual power plant concept results in energy produced at non peak periods from renewal sources being utilized at peak times (when energy is at its highest cost) through the short term storage in electric vehicle fleets. The managed approach of balancing supply and demand also means that significant amounts of distributed renewable energy sources can be connected to the low voltage network with the need for significant grid strengthening works.  The other benefit to the distribution network owner and the commercial property owner is the potential use of the power from the electric vehicles as a demand responsive source of energy that can be delivered to the local low voltage network at times of high network load.






The study is based on three technical components.  Firstly the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) at an aggregate level combining energy generation from multiple sources, leading to "positive energy" buildings, i.e. having the ability to satisfy their own energy needs (thermal and/or electric) and contribute excess power to the community. Secondly electric vehicles (EVs) with a vehicle to grid capability and smart metering to allow the ebb and flow of energy between the grid, the virtual power plant and the EVs. The third element involves identifying business models for implementation and operation of the system.  The positive energy building concept becomes technically  and economically feasible if extending its boundary to groups of buildings, campuses or communities (aggregators). The feasibility study aims to indetify the issues that need to be addressed in these three areas and develop an approach to addressing the issues and the appropriate business model or models for developing a solution.