Examining the Statewide Impact of Vehicle Grid-Integration Strategies on California’s Future Electricity Grid

Research Team: Tim Lipman (lead), Scott Moura, Alan Jenn, Behdad Kiani, Jean-Daniel Saphores, and Steve Ritchie

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine

Problem Statement: As California nears 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road with a goal of 5 million by 2030, the ability of the state electricity grid to support charging these vehicles must be carefully studied and any grid upgrades must be meticulously planned. In addition to representing a significant new energy load for California utilities, these millions of EVs have the potential to provide a tremendous resource through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power. EVs can store energy, provide flexible load and demand response, provide emergency backup power, and offer ancillary services that stabilize distribution grid operations. How do these benefits at the utility grid level translate to statewide electricity grid benefits? And how can flexible loads from EVs and V2G power help the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) manage the future California grid?

Project Description: This project will examine future scenarios of EV market penetration in California utility territories and address questions related to regional and statewide grid impacts and opportunities. The project will assess current policy and make recommendations for future development of EV-grid market rules, regulations, and rate structures. It will examine questions about the equity and fairness of proposed “dynamic” utility rate structures for residents of single-family homes and multi-unit dwellings, and will examine geographic differentiation of more elaborate future utility rate and CAISO market structures.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $145,000

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