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Big vehicle-to-grid trial for ACT

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced a $A2.4 million fund for a project to test the capabilities of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services.

V2G technology allows plugged-in electric vehicles to discharge stored electricity back into the grid, which grants additional stability and capacity.

More prominently, V2G can also potentially generate revenue for vehicle owners.

Batteries could be charged inexpensively during off-peak hours, for example, and then discharged during peak hours to generate income.

A total of 51 Nissan Leaf EVs will take part in the project, which is called “Realising Electric Vehicle-to-Grid Services” (REVS), in what’s claimed to be the largest V2G trial in the world.

The Leafs, which will form part of the ACT Government fleet, will be deployed throughout the ACT to provide and test V2G facilities.

When plugged in, the Nissans will provide Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) to the National Electricity Market (NEM); FCAS is employed by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to maintain the electrical system and support it during times of high demand. 

As a result, the Leafs – when plugged into bi-directional chargers – will help avoid blackouts and improve grid stability.

The revenue streams for providing electricity services will also be tested, the cost of ownership benefits of which will be of interest to private owners and fleet managers alike. 

 “As EV uptake grows, this project will help to unlock a future where EVs are just as critical a piece of the electricity sector as the transport sector,” said ARENA CEO Daren Miller.