Horizon puts V2G technology to test in state first

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Western Australian Government-owned energy provider Horizon Power has begun a 12-month trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology in the Coral Coast town of Exmouth, about 1,200 kilometres north of Perth, to better understand how energy stored in electric vehicles (EVs) can be incorporated into regional microgrids.

The first orchestration trial of its kind in the state, Horizon hopes to prove capacity of its management system and allow EVs to function as mobile energy storage solutions and help power homes, lower power bills, and stabilise the electricity grid.

Melbourne-headquartered EV charger supplier and installer Jet Charge will supply its V2G WallBox Quasar smart chargers for the trial, with a local Exmouth electrical contractor to provide support and maintenance as required.

Jet Charge’s Quasar features 12.8 kW DC charging power and has three charging modes: grid to solar or vehicle; vehicle to home; and vehicle to grid.

Horizon Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the results of the trial will enable the utility to understand how automated orchestration of distributed energy resource (DER) assets like rooftop solar and EV chargers can help increase and optimise the use of renewable energy through EVs and support network reliability.

“Horizon Power is committed to exploring this innovative technology to provide customers with more choice and to prepare for the anticipated increase in power supply in response to residential, fleet, and visitor EV charging needs within regional Western Australia,” she said.

Gascoyne Development Commission, Shire of Exmouth, Exmouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and WA Country Health Service, which operates Exmouth Hospital are participating in the trial.

Each organisation has been allocated a Nissan Leaf EVs equipped with V2G smart-charging equipment.

Nissan Leaf EVs are being issued to five organisations to trial the V2G system.

Image: Horizon Power

State Member for the region, Peter Foster, said there are unique challenges to powering regional towns where the population can grow and shrink dramatically depending on the time of year.

“This is one potential way to improve power reliability and stability, so it’s great to see collaboration between state government, local governments, and local business leaders to come up with innovative solutions like this,” he said.

Horizon is working with West Australian government and state-owned Synergy to build Australia’s longest electric vehicle fast-charging network featuring 98 EV charging stations across 49 locations.

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