Electric car chargers. Courtesy UC San Diego

UC San Diego is teaming with NUVVE Corp. to test whether electric vehicle drivers in California will embrace selling power back to the electric grid while plugged in.

The test is being financed with a $7.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission and will feature 50 specially equipped charging stations on campus.

NUVVE, a San Diego-based company, is providing its “vehicle to grid” technology that allows a parked car to become part of an electric grid.

Drivers will be paid every time the grid operator uses energy from their cars while still being guaranteed the expected level of charge needed to operate the vehicle.

“After successfully commercializing our services in Denmark, we are delighted to launch our NUVVEgives technology platform in California with the support of the California Energy Commission,” said Gregory Poilasne, CEO of the company.

“We are going to tailor our platform to California’s specific needs and, with our partners, we will demonstrate the strong benefits generated by vehicle to grid technology,” he added.

As part of the demonstration project, NUVVE will also use UC San Diego’s solar forecasting technology to guide its electric vehicle charging schedule. This technology includes weather models, machine learning tools and sky imagers to predict solar power output in 15-minute increments.

“Integrating solar forecasts into the charging schedule will allow NUVVE and the electric vehicle owner to make more informed decisions about when to charge or provide energy to the grid,” explained Jan Kleissl, an environmental engineering professor .

Robert B. Weisenmiller, chair of the energy commission, said that if successful, the technology could “further incentivize clean transportation while also helping to provide a sustainable, reliable resource to the grid.”

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.