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6th October, 2017

Nissan's New Vehicle -2- Grid System Enables Renewable Energy to Go Further

If you have already installed, or are thinking of installing, solar panels on your property, you’ll no doubt be interested in getting the best return on your investment.

Generating Solar power during sunshine hours is all well and good if you have one of the early feed in tariffs which reward you richly for your exported electricity; but if you’re a recent installer the export rate is significantly less, so it makes sense to consume as much of your self-generated electricity as possible.

If (like myself) you and your family are out of the house during the daytime, it can be difficult to plan your usage to match your solar generation. Recent developments in domestic battery storage such as Nissan’s xStorage have enabled customers to store their energy for consumption later in the day, helping to reduce grid demand at peak periods.

Nissan’s newest product to be unveiled takes this a step further – combining an xStorage battery with a Type 2 socket to connect to the new 2018 Nissan LEAF. This allows bi-directional charging of both the vehicle and the battery – utilising new AC Vehicle-to-Grid technology. This extends the capacity and capability of the xStorage device, increasing the energy storage potential from 4kWh to around 40kWh (enough to run a typical household for up to 3 days).

Devices like this will be even more desirable when combined with Time of Day electricity tariffs, which give much cheaper electricity overnight at times of low demand, and charge much higher rates at peak times. By using the xStorage battery and the LEAF’s 40kWh battery together, it can be used to help smooth out grid demand, exporting the electricity to support the local substation, and in return paying the homeowner for the privilege.

Grid demand fluctuates considerably throughout the average working day, and part of argument around the switch to renewable energy is that green energy production (such as Wind and Solar) doesn’t necessarily match up with the grid’s demand peaks. By utilising energy storage systems and smart chargers which can restrict (or even reverse) the flow of electricity to cars during peak periods, renewable energy can be utilised to its full.

Nissan have entered into a trial with OVO Energy in the UK, to develop a time of day tariff with export rates for grid balancing which OVO say will save customers on average £590 a year on their electricity bills.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive of OVO, said: “Electric vehicles are fast becoming a mainstream option for drivers and solve many of the challenges facing our cities. We believe that they have an integral part to play in the twenty-first century power grid and accelerating decarbonisation and mobility. We’re delighted that we can now offer such a compelling incentive to customers who are generating their own clean power, providing a truly sustainable alternative to the traditional energy model.”

The company estimates that if all 20,000 Nissan electric vehicles in the UK were connected to the energy network, they would generate the equivalent output of a 200MW power plant with a 10kW charger.

As the number of EVs on UK roads grows in the coming years, V2G technology could create a virtual power plant of up to 200GW – more than double the peak requirement on the UK grid.

The partnership between the companies will also see them collaborate in an attempt to boost residential stationary storage deployment.

The collaboration will result in an offer combining OVO’s intelligent energy technology VNet and Nissan’s xStorage home system, which uses second life batteries from the manufacturer’s range of EVs.

Building from this collaboration, OVO plans to launch OVO SolarStore (beta), the company’s first battery storage offering for qualifying customers. Those with solar households will be able to purchase an xStorage Home system direct from OVO for £4,800 plus installation and benefit from a £350 annual credit and estimated average £240 savings on their energy bills.

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