Grid-Smart EV Charging

Project Lead: The Rousay, Egilsay & wyre Development Trust (REWDT)

Partners: Eday Partnership, Island of Hoy Development Trust, Shapinsay Development Trust, Community Energy Scotland

Award Amount: £39,075

Status: Complete (December 2014), Output Reports published

Area: Orkney

From early 2012 onwards, REWDT became concerned about the increased curtailment of the community wind 900kW wind turbine on Kingarly Hill, Rousay. A commissioned report produced by Smarter Grid Solutions indicated that it would not be viable to rely on grid improvements, as these could not be put into effect until at least 2018. Consequently, a decision was made to invest in increasing the local electricity load to accommodate an increase in generation capacity during periods of identified curtailment. This would be achieved through installing EV chargers across the islands of Rousay and Hoy. To then develop a grid-smart EV charging system required partnering with Vcharge (a US technology company) so that VPak control units could be installed at each charge point. These would communicate with an Aggregator managed by Vcharge meaning that the charge points could be turned on when it was indicated the community wind turbine(s) were being curtailed.

Learning Point(s)

Some key points indicated within the output report for this project include:

  • Being able to determine whether or not it is possible to establish a switchable load was relatively easy due to the ease of data gathering enabled by the automatic design of the VCharge Aggregation system;
  • Load capacities during weekends were more complicated than originally assumed due to the balance between: reduced commuter usage versus other domestic properties’ increase, at particular locations; and
  • Integrating a ‘manual override’ to the charger system, to enable a user to ensure an EV is charged by a certain amount and time, was found to be feasible.

Supporting Documents / Output Report(s)

Community Power Orkney Electric Vehicles and Grid Smart EV Charging: End of Grants Report