As our warming world’s citizenry starts driving and plugging in more and more electric vehicles into their greening homes, should they really have to worry about stressing out the utilities’ still-fickle grids? Not really, which is why Greenlots unveiled its new open-standards electric vehicle charging technology platform SKY Smart Charging, which promises to automate and more efficiently manage electricity consumption during chilled downtimes and overheated demand.
It sounds cool, but what does it all mean for solar adopters and investors looking to unplug from an imbalanced grid in need of greater smarts?
“Over 40 percent of California EV drivers have solar installed on their roofs, so the storage component of an EV works well with this distributed generation source,” Greenlots president Brett Hauser told SolarEnergy.net. “Ultimately, the two benefits from the integrated model are the truly zero emissions solution, as well as the greater economic benefits of solar, including net metering sale of high-priced energy during the daytime hours or nighttime low rates for EV charging.”
“Right now, the utility is forced to shoulder all of these costs, which over time will have to change,” he added. “However, the overall benefits of grid-integrated solar are much greater than off-grid systems whereby a residential customer would need to purchase additional storage.”
To merge these worlds, Greenlots has become the “first and only EV charging platform provider,” according to Hauser, to receive certification for OpenADR 2.0b, an open-source protocol that allows automated demand response between the changing utilities and their charging infrastructure,” Greenlots president Brett Hauser told SolarEnergy.net. That quest for a common code language to balance our global grid in real-time, certified by the Open Automated Demand Response Alliance, has already helped Singapore and San Francisco-based Greenlots become Asia’s leading provider of charging stations for electric vehicles.
That includes, it should be noted, China, which in 2013 installed more solar capacity than any country ever has in a single year, as well more than China ever has in its history of installing solar capacity. “As a champion of open standards for interoperability with EV charging infrastructure, embracing Open Automated Demand Response was a logical progression for Greenlots,” Hauser added. “Dynamic pricing at home and work will incentivize consumers to opt in to demand response programs.”
The pricing of solar, as with anything, is the key, whether you’re talking about utilities blowback or trade wars. Both are having a hard time parsing our new century’s changing codes of generation and consumption (decentralized, distributed and digitized, thanks much!), while leaning too hard on the creaking crutches of last century’s utility business as usual.
The good news is that between 2007-2012, the cost of solar manufacturing cratered between 70 to 80 percent and, as U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced last week, the American taxpayers’ Sunshot Initiative nearly brought solar costs down to 11 cents per kWh, which below the current average price for electricity in the U.S. The better news is the sun belongs to everyone, so all it takes are handy solutions that can empower consumers at the point of impact.
“Solar will be a source of clean energy that utilities use in tandem with EV demand response programs to ultimately improve the smart grid,” Hauser explained. “Both technologies will be utilized more. We want to enable widespread adoption and believe that open standards play a critical role in enabling growth by promoting innovation and competition, which ultimately leads to lower price points for the customer. Purchase decisions should be made on feature, function and price, not because someone is locked into a proprietary system.”
This article appeared at Solar Energy