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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Drive like the wind

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory(PNNL)
Sept 12, 2011

In a new report, researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory show how electric vehicles — increasingly available to consumers in today's marketplace — could help operators more seamlessly add more renewable energy sources like wind into the Pacific Northwest's energy grid. The Northwest increasingly is looking to add more windpower to meet growing energy demands and policy requirements to tap more renewable energy sources.

The report finds the future Northwest power system would be able to better utilize fickle wind energy if about 13 percent, or about 2.1 million, of vehicles in seven Northwest states were plug-in electric models and equipped with Grid Friendly™ charging technology. The study also finds consumers would need to have the ability to charge their vehicles during the day, and a small percentage of charging stations would need to be available publicly or at the workplace.

The report examined grid conditions in the Northwest Power Pool, which covers Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming; many of them home to abundant wind resources and wind energy projects. In particular, the PNNL report examined the implications of adding another 10 Gigawatts of wind to the region's grid by 2019, which regulations such as the Renewable Portfolio Standards require. "Electric vehicles, coupled with grid-friendly charging, offers a great opportunity, right now, to help electric companies integrate additional windpower into our electric system," said Michael Kintner-Meyer, PNNL staff scientist and study co-author.
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