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Which University is Pioneering Smart Energy and Smart Partnerships?

By Sharon Chen
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The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is leading the way when it comes to smart energy. The university is home to one of the world’s most advanced microgrids (an energy system that can operate as a part of, or independently from, the main power grid, and is powered by clean energy), which serves 45,000 people, generates 85 percent of the electricity used on-campus, and saves the university over $8 million a year in power costs.

UCSD is leveraging its microgrid success into a collaboration with the electric vehicle industry. The university will be working with an electric vehicle (EV) fast charging firm to study how EV owners can use solar power and battery storage to provide services to the grid, and to test vehicle-to-grid technology in California.

UCSD shows what happens when universities take the lead on sustainable solutions to our climate challenge. By pioneering one of the most advanced microgrids in the world, the campus is saving money and saving the environment, as well as showing other institutions and municipalities that this is feasible and cost-effective. By partnering with other green leaders to innovate and lead on climate solutions, UCSD is exemplifying the best of higher ed’s contributions to our climate progress.

EVgo, UC San Diego Partner to Promote EV Charging and Energy Storage Innovations

Mike Hower | Sustainable Brands | November 11, 2015

EVgo, an electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging solutions firm, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of California, San Diego to help support developments in sustainable energy technology, according to a recent announcement.

The agreement formalizes an already strong collaboration focusing on the intersection of electric vehicles and energy storage, and EVgo says it is leading two projects at the university.

In the first project, EVgo has constructed a site for assessing how owners of EV DC charging sites can leverage solar, battery storage and control systems to mitigate site host demand charges and provide services to the grid.

In the second project, EVgo will begin operating a fleet of bidirectional electric vehicles from Nissan and Honda, including a modified version of the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid, to test applicability of vehicle-to-grid technology for California. This vehicle-to-grid initiative builds off of EVgo’s ongoing collaboration with the University of Delaware.

In 2013, EVgo and the University of Delaware, working with PJM Interconnection, brought online the world’s first project where electric vehicles served as an official resource on a power grid.

The energy resources from both projects will feed into UC San Diego’s microgrid, considered one of the most advanced microgrids in the world. Serving more than 45,000 people, the microgrid generates more than 85 percent of the electricity used on campus annually and saves the university more than $8 million a year in power costs. The microgrid is an integrated system of energy sources — including solar, a fuel cell and a cogeneration plant — and energy storage along with the software that controls each system.