South Australia launches vehicle-to-grid charging trial

Group of people gathered around electric vehicle while it is being charged at a vehicle-to-grid charging station at Flinders University in South Australia
Flinders University nanoscale researcher Dr Xuan Luo, ENGIE Australia & New Zealand CEO Rik De Buyserie, Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and researcher Dr Kasturi Vimalanathan at the V2G trial launch

A landmark electric vehicle (EV) charging station showcasing award-winning bidirectional vehicle-to-grid technology has been unveiled at South Australia’s Flinders University.

The state government-backed project showcases a collaboration between ENGIE and Flinders University, bringing 10 vehicle-to-grid chargers online.

The vehicle-to-grid charging bays can charge and discharge electricity to the campus’s electricity grid, creating a virtual power plant (VPP) to benefit the university’s fleet, staff and students. The project demonstrates how EVs can be harnessed to support South Australia’s electricity system during periods of peak demand.

Related article: Vehicle-to-grid tech could help with grid stability

The university already has regular DC and AC chargers available to those who’ve made the switch to clean, sustainable electric vehicles, with the entire network delivering the university’s solar and wind-sourced energy.

The vehicle-to-grid bays will be used to feed renewable energy from compatible EVs back into the campus grid as part of the new VPP established by ENGIE for the trial.

The initiative is one of several funded under the state government’s $3.2 million Smart Charging Trials. Data from the trials will frame and inform the future direction of EVs in South Australia as we strive for net zero emissions by 2050.

The trials complement South Australia’s statewide EV charging network being rolled out by the RAA, delivering more than 500 charging bays to 140 sites in 52 locations.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Tom Koutsantonis MP, says South Australian ingenuity has taken its place on the world stage yet again with this award-winning smart charging trial.

“We are delighted to see this bold trial at Flinders hit its first key milestone, charging electric vehicles and feeding power back into the grid when needed, demonstrating how EVs can be harnessed to support SA’s electricity system during peak demand periods,” he said.

Related article: South Australia leads on vehicle to grid capability 

“More and more electric vehicles will be hitting our roads in years to come as we travel towards net zero emissions. With trials like this investigating the possibilities for broad use of this technology we can be confident we are on the right track.”

ENGIE ANZ CEO Rik De Buyserie says this program not only helps Flinders University achieve its sustainability targets, but also signals the huge uplift in demand and increasing awareness of the extended benefits of transitioning to an EV fleet.

“The integration of renewable energy, EV charging and demand management systems better matches renewable output to a site’s demand, reduces emissions and puts downward pressure on electricity prices,” De Buyserie said.

Previous articleCSIRO launches new flexible demand pilot in NSW
Next articleAP4CA sues EnergyAustralia for greenwashing