To meet growing energy needs created by EVs in the Ottawa area, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) are supporting a new pilot project.
The project will be run by BluWave-ai, a renewable energy AI company, and Hydro Ottawa, a regulated electricity distribution company, to use AI and manage EV charging during peak demand periods.
The pilot, EV Everywhere, will use AI to create an online service for EV owners. It will pool EV batteries’ storage and charging capabilities to smooth out demand peaks and leverage lower cost energy at off-peak. The automated system will also gauge customer interest and impacts.
“Distribution utilities in Ontario are faced with the challenges to support increased demand from EV chargers in customers’ homes and businesses,” stated Devashish Paul, CEO and Founder of BluWave-ai.
Paul added, “BluWave-ai’s EV Everywhere eases the transition to high EV penetration using real-time network data to predict demand, considering forecasted consumer loads and behind-the-meter renewable generation. Integrated with utility systems, EV Everywhere provides optimal dispatch for intelligent scheduling of EV charging and available battery energy storage. It’s a non-wires alternative solution that can defer or reduce the need for capital infrastructure upgrades.”
The hope of the project is to save customers money while extending the life of electricity infrastructure.
The pilot will test an AI software platform that supports utilities in the visibility of and support for the growing numbers of EVs drawing electricity from the local grid.
With input from customers, optimised charging times and strategic placement of battery storage, the platform aims to reduce the strain on the local grid. It also hopes to allow EVs to provide services to the broader provincial electricity market.
Through Ca$2.4 million (US$1.9 million) in funding from the IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund, as well as regulatory support from the OEB’s Innovation Sandbox, the project aims to contribute to technical advances that will help realise the potential of these solutions.
Project proponents and their partners are investing an additional Ca$2.4 million.
The announcement builds upon the support that the Grid Innovation Fund and Innovation Sandbox are providing to four projects announced in March, bringing the total investment to $41.8 million.
“Innovative technologies, like AI, are unlocking the potential for consumers to exert greater control over how they use electricity,” says Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the IESO. “By continuing to fund local projects through our Grid Innovation Fund, we are finding new ways to harness the potential of local supply and change the way we think about our electricity grid.”
“Working with BluWave-ai and Hydro Ottawa creates an amazing opportunity to increase EV adoption,” commented Gurmesh Sidhu, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Moment Energy.
“By adding energy storage to the grid, we can solve many problems the grid would otherwise experience as EV adoption increases. Working with partners enables us to demonstrate how effective second-life batteries are and the impact they can make to transmission and distribution infrastructure.”
The IESO forecasts that electricity demand from the electrification of transportation, which includes EVs, will increase 20% annually.