Japan’s First Ever V2G project is now entering its second year. Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. The project, also known as METI is demonstrating how V2G services can help balance the supply and demand of an electric grid.
Full press release from Toyota Tsusho:
Toyota Tsusho Corporation (hereinafter “Toyota Tsusho”) and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (hereinafter “Chubu Electric Power”) announce that they are entering the second year of their joint V2G demonstration project. The companies have jointly applied for subsidies to continue their “V2G*1 Aggregator Demonstration Project” as a part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Agency for Natural Resources and Energy’s “FY2019 Subsidies for Virtual Power Plant*2 Demonstration Project for Improvement of Energy Management in Demand Side.” In May 2019, the two companies received approval from the Sustainable Open Innovation Initiative, the executive body responsible for approving subsidy applications. The companies initially launched the project in FY2018, and this marks its second year.
Vehicle to Grid (V2G) is a technology that harnesses the power of energy storage in batteries of plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles (hereinafter “PHV’s/EV’s”). V2G has two main functions: “Renewable Energy Capacity Firming” to minimize the impact of fluctuation in the output of renewable energy production, and “Renewable Energy Time Shift” to store excess renewable energy output and return it when it is needed. These two V2G services are expected to help resolve the issues of utilizing renewable energy production such as wind and solar.
In fiscal 2018, the companies developed a V2G control system while testing and assessing the impact of the system on both the charging of storage batteries of PHV’s/EV’s and the supply of power to the grid.
In fiscal 2019, the companies will simulate conditions closer to real life environments. They will add Supply-Demand Control Test Server*3 to the V2G control system developed in the previous fiscal year and create a new demonstration test environment with simulated supply-demand control orders from Chubu Electric Power. The companies will also conduct demonstration tests using PHV’s/EV’s actually used in daily travel and work schedules. Additionally, the companies will provide car drivers with a smartphone application in which they will store their car use schedules. Based on their schedules, V2G tests will be conducted during times when the vehicles are parked.
In this project, Toyota Tsusho is acting as the aggregator*4 and building the V2G control system (using a V2G system developed in the U.S. by Nuvve Corporation*5). The system is being designed to add new value to PHV’s/EV’s by offering balancing control to the grid and supply capacity shift for renewable energy.
Chubu Electric Power is responsible for assessing the effect of V2G on the grid from the point of view of Transmission System Operator (TSO) and for contributing to the improvement of technology to develop a new kind of balancing control power. These technologies are intended to support the stable delivery of safe and inexpensive power.
*1: Utilizing the storage batteries of PHV’s/EV’s for battery charging as well as supplying stored power to the electric power grid.
*2: Connecting renewable power generation sources, such as solar generation systems at homes and company plants, as well as storage batteries into a single network so that they can operate as one power generation node.
*3: Testing equipment designed to send balance control orders from TSOs to aggregators in order to utilize V2G. This is required to adjust power demand and supply (control frequency and adjust the balance of demand and supply) in order to maintain a fixed frequency (50Hz or 60Hz).
*4: A business which utilized energy resources to provide services to power generation companies, TSOs, and electricity retailers.
*5: Nuvve Corporation is a U.S. start-up company developing V2G businesses in Europe, Asia and the United States. The company provides multiple grid services such as frequency regulation service, renewable energy optimization or vehicle to building energy services . It launched the world’s first V2G commercial operation in Denmark in 2016. Toyota Tsusho became an investor in Nuvve in December 2017.