Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Simulating Grid Effects of EVs, Batteries and Solar in Vermont

As Vermont electrifies transportation (through electric vehicles, or EVs) and heating (through heat pumps), the demand on the electric grid will increase. At the same time, the ability of individual homes to generate electricity (through solar panels) and store it (with in-home and EV batteries) will expand. Understanding what these distributed energy resources (DERs) mean for the grid is critical. This paper used data from 100 randomly selected utility customers to model a realistic "neighborhood" and what the energy load of such a residential area could look like. The model simulated varying amounts of batteries, EVs and solar power production in the "neighborhood" and analyzed what those changes mean for energy use and demand. The model offers a way for Efficiency Vermont, utilities, and other partners to understand the impact of DERs on the grid (for example, how grid operators could incentivize recharging home or EV batteries when the grid is least stressed), how incentives could affect charging behavior, and ways to minimize load (or even provide electricity) during peak demand. The modeling could help coordinate between DERs and the grid to manage increased energy loads without expensive infrastructure investments. And the model could be used to flatten the state's electricity load during peak demand.

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