Electric cars set to drive grid stability

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Katina Curtis, AAP Senior Political Writer
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Electric cars will be used to back up Canberra’s power grid in a nation-first trial.

A fleet of 51 ACT government electric cars are involved in the trial run by the Australian National University, which aims to demonstrate the feasibility of “vehicle-to-grid” services.

The cars will be able to feed power from their batteries back into the grid almost instantly when needed to help avoid blackouts.

Lead researcher Bjorn Sturmberg said the idea worked in the lab, but his team needed to show it worked in the real world.

“One EV battery typically contains as much energy as an average household uses over two-to-four days and can react to events in a tenth of a second,” he said on Wednesday.

“If all of Australia’s 19 million vehicles were electric, they would store more energy than five Snowy 2.0s, or over 10,000 Tesla big batteries.”

ACT Advanced Technology Minister Mick Gentleman says if the project is successful, it could be extended to private vehicle owners and lead to people being paid to have their cars feed back into the grid.

The trial is jointly funded but the ACT government and the commonwealth’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

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