Iowa NSF EPSCoR Energy Policy Seminar

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Date/Time:Wednesday, 01 May 2013 from 12:00 pm to 1:20 pm
Location:0013 Curtiss Hall
Channel:Bioeconomy Institute
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"Harnessing Electric Vehicle Demand Flexibility," Ross Baldick, University of Texas, Austin.

Harnessing demand flexibility can enable more renewable integration. We start with a data driven analysis of the potential of flexible demands, particularly plug-in electric vehicle load. We first give a measure of flexibility and then show, based on an extensive data-set of driving patterns, that PEV load is flexible. We then illustrate that, if left unmanaged, these loads can exacerbate peaks in the load profile and increase the negative correlation of demand with wind energy production. We propose a simple local policy with very limited information and minimal coordination that can substantially increase the correlation of flexible demand with wind energy production. Such local policies could be readily implemented as modifications to existing "grid friendly" charging modes of plug-in electric vehicles.

Next, (if time permits) we discuss how aggregation of flexible loads can transform the loads into controllable assets that help maintain grid reliability by counterbalancing the intermittency due to renewables. We introduce a model that economically incentivizes the load to reveal its flexibility and provides cost-comfort trade-offs to the consumers. We establish the performance of our proposed model through evaluation of the price reductions that can be provided to the users compared to uncontrolled and uncoordinated consumption. We show that a key advantage of aggregation and coordination is provision of ancillary services to the system by load, which can account for a considerable price reduction to end users. The proposed scheme is also capable of preventing distribution network overloads.

Our work demonstrates the potential of flexible loads to mitigate the inherent intermittency of renewables in an economically efficient manner. We are currently cooperating with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) ISO to set up a testbed for EV charging that is implementing these and other policies for harnessing load flexibility.