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Northpower Vehicle To Grid Trial Wins EECA Funding

Northpower has been approved for co-funding from The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund for a Vehicle to Grid Trial on its network.

The project will use the latest Vehicle to Grid (V2G) equipment designed for use in residential installations to measure how this new technology can benefit both consumers and the electricity distribution network.

The trial will see if electric vehicles (EVs) and V2G systems can effectively ease peak demand on electricity networks by providing an alternative energy source at those peak times (which happens to be on wheels). A Nissan Leaf with two way charging capability will be provided to participants over 12 months and the V2G system installed in their homes. Northpower will monitor the energy usage over that time and the net impact on the network. The V2G battery has the advantage of also being a backup power source for the household in the event of an outage.

Josie Boyd, General Manager of Northpower Network, says she is delighted that EECA are supporting the project, which is a partnership with Nichicon (the manufacturer of the equipment) and the University of Canterbury.

“Not only is this an opportunity for our consumers to gain first-hand experience with these new technologies, but it is important that we build our understanding of the impact that EVs will have on the electricity networks and how customer technologies can ultimately help reduce costs for all network users,” says Mrs Boyd.

“This is particularly important as electric vehicles become more popular and have the potential to increase demand on our network. The traditional response is to build more infrastructure to meet the demand peaks. But we hope to show with a real example that new technologies like V2G and EVs can help by shaving those peaks by providing an alternative energy source”.

Northpower will work in partnership with Nichicon (the manufacturer of the equipment) and the University of Canterbury to install the technology in customers’ homes and obtain real time data to analyse the potential benefits for both the customer and the network. Northpower looks forward to sharing the results of the trial and the learnings over the next year.

Northpower’s project is one of 21 recipients sharing $3.8m of co-funding for projects under the latest round from the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, which is administered by EECA and aims to reduce carbon emissions from road transport by encouraging EV innovation and investment, and ultimately uptake of EVs across the country.

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