In the US, San Diego Gas & Electric has this week announced its bid to integrate electric vehicles into California’s wholesale energy market. SDG&E will be “actively bidding a group of energy storage systems and electric vehicle fleets as one resource directly into the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) energy markets”.

Under the pilot project, stationary storage systems are aggregated together with the charging demand of EV at five different locations throughout San Diego County. Assets are controlled remotely using software that balances participants’ charging needs, as well as identifies opportunities to provide demand response services at grid level.

The project achieves energy efficiency during peak hours by ensuring that charging activity correlates with wholesale energy prices, reports PR Newswire.

James P. Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president of power supply said: “This pilot emphasizes SDG&E’s focus on innovation in the electric vehicle and energy storage sectors.

“There is tremendous potential for dispatchable distributed energy resources to enhance reliability and achiever greater efficiencies.”

The pilot will also create a framework and set of best practises for future large-scale integration of distributed energy resources with wholesale markets.

CAISO’s director of Regulatory Affairs for Distributed Energy Resources commented: “This pilot creates an important connection between actual grid conditions and customer response.

“By having electric vehicles directly participate as a grid resource in the wholesale market, vehicles respond to signals from the grid operator to reduce when electricity is scarce, and continue or resume charging when renewable generation is plentiful. This capability helps maximize the use of energy from renewables while keeping the grid reliable.”

The utility’s Electric Vehicle Grid Integration (EVGI) pilot programme has been submitted to California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval. The application also makes provision for rate structures that need to be employed with increased charging loads that will promote charging at optimal times and minimise disruption at local distribution level.

The Californian government plans to have 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on state roads by 2025. The Electric Vehicle Grid Integration pilot is set to be completed by the end of 2015.