Duke Energy has filed for North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) approval of a new demand response pilot program expected to launch in 2023 for customers in the Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) service area. Pilot incentives will reduce vehicle lease payments for program participants who lease an eligible electric vehicle (EV), including Ford F-150 Lightning trucks. In exchange, customers will allow their EVs to feed energy back to the grid – helping to balance it during peak demand.
This bidirectional flow of power is a smart charging technology also known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration. V2G can push and pull energy between a connected EV and the grid, supplying the grid with stored, charged power and helping balance energy consumption and production.
Duke Energy Carolinas serves about 2.1 million households and businesses in central and western North Carolina, including Charlotte, Durham and the Triad.
As part of the pilot program, Duke Energy will enroll up to 100 customers who lease electric vehicles including the Ford F-150 Lightning. Duke Energy will provide a financial incentive to customers in the form of reducing lease payments for program participants – providing payments directly to the vehicle manufacturer – in exchange for allowing Duke Energy to draw energy from their EVs.
The pilot program will allow Duke Energy to draw energy up to three times per month during higher peak winter and summer months, and one time per month during the remaining months of the year, for testing and research purposes and to support the energy grid during peak usage hours. Stored energy drawn from the electric vehicles’ batteries will help balance the power grid during periods of highest energy demand.
Program participants will need the necessary bidirectional charging infrastructure, which includes the Ford Charge Station Pro home charger and Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power Home Integration System, which enables Ford F-150 Lightning customers to power their homes for three to 10 days in a power outage, installed in their home. Additionally, customers will need Ford’s software package to enroll in the program.
As part of the pilot program, Duke Energy will analyze flows of energy between EV batteries and the power grid and work closely with Ford and other vehicle manufacturers to study the full functionality of bidirectional charging integration. The company will also make determinations about how future customer demand response programs around V2G technology might be structured to provide maximum benefits to both customers and the grid.
Duke Energy and Ford are also collaborating on a complimentary small-scale research and development test in Florida to begin in 2023.
Duke Energy is also working to build a smart-thinking grid that intelligently manages the two-way power flow needed to sustainably grow renewables like EV-generated energy.