Through a technology demonstration project, PG&E will explore the viability of a clean energy system powering a home in the case of a power outage or during a demand response event.
For the project, PG&E created a demonstration home energy system that includes private rooftop solar panels, battery energy storage, and an electric vehicle retrofitted to support two-way energy flow.
Today, standard EVs do not support two-way energy flow, which allows power to flow from the home to the EV and from the EV to the home. Such capability may be available in the future, contributing to increased electric reliability for customers. By testing different residential electric loads on the demonstration system, PG&E will explore the capabilities of the combined technologies to power a home during various scenarios.
“We are exploring early vehicle-to-home technology paired with solar and storage to better understand how the combination of these clean energy resources can benefit not only our customers, but also the electric grid. This project ties into our efforts to enable continued growth of distributed energy resources and modernize the grid, all while continuing to ensure safety, reliability, and affordability for our customers,” said Roy Kuga, vice president, grid integration and innovation at PG&E.
Exploring home power scenarios
The goal of the project is to understand how much electricity load and for how long a combination of clean energy resources would be able meet a residential customer’s electric needs in the case of a power outage or during demand response events. For a demand response event, customers are asked to reduce electricity usage during times of peak demand to ensure reliability of the energy grid – such as during the hot summer months when customers are using more air conditioning.
PG&E will test both traditional demand response events as well as ‘hard island’ events that mimic a power outage. During these two scenarios, PG&E will assess the capability of the demonstration energy system to power the home for various amounts of time and for two different customer profiles:
– A coastal home with a cooler climate, such as Santa Cruz or San Francisco
– A Central Valley home with hotter weather requiring air conditioning, such as Fresno or Bakersfield
Through this project, PG&E hopes to understand how all of the energy components interact from a technical perspective in order to ultimately determine the capability, efficiency and cost effectiveness of these resources working together.
PG&E’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program
This project is part of the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which plays a vital role in helping PG&E drive the innovation needed to help meet California’s policy and clean energy goals, while also ensuring the safe, reliable and affordable operation of the grid.
To date, PG&E has launched 34 EPIC projects, including 16 completed technology demonstration projects which are highlighted on PG&E’s website at pge.com/epicfinalreports. These projects help advance the energy technology landscape, leading to product solutions that are beneficial for our customers, the environment, and the economy.