With vehicle-to-building (V2B) technology, which makes the energy stored in plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) batteries available to commercial and residential buildings, vehicles can compete with both traditional local generation and stationary storage for offsetting demand charges or providing peak shaving services.
V2B technology has been studied for the purpose of emergency backup power since the 1990s, and is gaining new attention as PEV sales climb and building managers and homeowners seek innovative ways to manage energy costs. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, nearly 200,000 PEVs equipped with V2B technology will be sold from 2012 through 2020.
“V2B technology can benefit both vehicle and building owners, by offsetting some of the cost of PEVs, by lowering the energy costs of the building, and by providing reliable emergency backup services,” says John Gartner, research director with Navigant Research. “Numerous pilot projects around the world are developing and testing V2B technologies, most of them as part of larger microgrid and smart grid projects.”
Although recent projects are becoming more ambitious with regards to the number of PEVs participating, they are still at the scale of integrating hundreds – not yet thousands – of vehicles, the study concludes.
Automotive and building companies in Japan, for example, have responded to the widespread loss of grid power after the 2011 tsunami by developing V2B programs, mostly focusing on residential buildings.