California's largest utility looks to the wind to power EVs

As discussed in URGEĀ² theory, utilising the grid to overcome the supply intermittency of renewable energy sources is a critical step in moving forward towards a green energy future. Californian utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is looking to do just that by combining the overnight charging of EVs via renewable energy with the opportunity for consumers to sell some of the power stored in their vehicles' battery packs back to the grid during the day.

The plan is designed to both drive the uptake of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and give the utility more capacity flexibility in dealing with peak load situations. Essentially the battery packs in the plug-in cars would be recharged over night and then would recharge the grid during the day.

Wind energy is California's major renewable energy contributor, with more than 2,500 megawatts of capacity. But with aggressive renewable energy goals, around 4,600 megawatts is projected to be added to meet the targets. Xcel Energy is also looking at smart-grid technologies to help it meet Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard legislation.

Analysis: Expect to see a lot more on smart grid technologies such as high-tech meters over the coming few years. Estimated to be just 5-6 years away, power grid-to-car-batteries technology should reduce both emissions and energy bills.

[Source: EcoFriend]

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