California Progresses EV Grid Interconnection

Electric vehicle-grid integration (VGI) is underway in California.

But it’s in low gear until the political and economic powers that be decide on how to build and monetize California new transportation normal.

Last month, California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO), which manages the state’s power grid, recently upgraded its VGI roadmap (PDF), in accordance with Governor’s Brown’s 2012 executive order releasing $120 million to prepare the state’s roads for an influx of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

Differences in versions between that draft and Cal ISO’s recent update — released after an invitation-only mindmeld for energy regulators and EV experts in early March at CalEPA headquarters in Sacramento — “were minor as we incorporated just a very few comments from our stakeholders, including the California Energy Commission,” Cal ISO spokesperson Steven Greenlee told SolarEnergy. “The recommendations and content remained the same with no major changes.”

Although Greenlee wouldn’t elaborate on what comments were added by stakeholders, which also includes the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board, it seems all are on the same page when it comes to funding EV buildout. After the March mindmeld, the California Energy Commission awarded Foster City $1.6 million to convert its older USPS and UPS gas and diesel walk-in vans to electric power trains. The California Air Resources Board also announced increased funding incentives for companies looking to bring their dirty gas and diesel buses and trucks under increasingly cleaner regulations.

In other words, the state’s transportation machine is moving slowly toward electrification, but at least it’s moving in the right direction. That’s what the roadmap is for, reminded Greenlee.

“The roadmap helps by noting what issues and actions are needed to determine what the VGI value is,” he told SolarEnergy, “and to identify and develop enabling policy and technology needs.”

This article appeared at Solar Energy