Demand response: US utility pilots Itron EV charging solution

US electric service provider Pepco Holdings has announced it will deploy Itron and ClipperCreek’s electric vehicle smart charging solution as part of a demand response pilot program.

The utility, which serves the state of Maryland and District of Columbia, will use ClipperCreek’s charging station fitted with Itron’s Embedded Sensing technology to test plug-in vehicle charging.

Customers can volunteer to use the solution for cheaper off-peak charging.

Objectives of pilot scheme
Pepco will use the smart charging to test demand response events and calculate the load impact of each event on the utility’s distribution system, according to a statement from Itron.

Barbara M. Gonzalez, manager of special projects at Pepco,who is leading the program said: “Itron and ClipperCreek’s smart charging system is an innovating technology that satisfies our requirements for our Plug-In Vehicle Charging Pilot Program.

“We look forward to evaluating this cutting-edge solution, which will empower our customers to reduce peak usage and save money when charging their electric vehicles, while also decreasing the demand on our electric distribution system while increasing our system reliability.”

EV charging metrology
Itron’s Embedded Sensing technology offers the ClipperCreek 240V charging station revenue-grade metrology as well as command and control communication over a variety of mediums.

The solution also allows for flexible and automatic control of charging, receiving inputs such as charging schedules and control signals for demand response.

Industry trend
The Pepco and Itron deal follows an agreement at the end of October between US utility Con Edison and Landis+Gyr for a pilot project involving plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging stations in residential homes.

Under the programme, Con Edison, which supplies energy services to New York City and Westchester County in New York State, has installed Landis+Gyr’s L510 load control switches at 50 single-family homes.

The utility is testing sub-metering technologies and is studying how the customers respond to requests that they charge their vehicles at certain times of the day when demand for electricity is low.

Charging station monitoring
In addition to providing remote control of high-consumption appliances, the L510 uses built-in metrology to compute and report energy usage, which Landis+Gyr says makes it a good fit for applications such as monitoring and controlling charging stations.

Con Edison will issue a report evaluating the accuracy and usefulness of the metering technology and make a proposal for next steps by March 31, 2015.