Duke Energy, a North Carolina-based energy provider, is aiming to utilize the Ford F-150 Lightning to help reduce stress on the state’s energy grid. The F-150 Lightning’s bidirectional charging, also known as Vehicle-to-Grid or V2G, will help push and pull energy between the all-electric pickup and the grid, stabilizing and balancing energy consumption and production during high-use times.
Duke Energy filed for a new pilot program that will equip 100 customer-leased EVs, including the F-150 Lightning, and use them for grid stabilization, the utility company said. Expected to launch in 2023 for customers in the Duke Energy Carolinas service area, the pilot program will reduce lease payments to participants who choose to take part in the initiative.
“Duke Energy is building a more intelligent, sustainable, smart grid designed to encompass growing energy demands,” Harry Sideris, Executive VP of Customer Experience, Solutions, and Services at Duke Energy, said. “We’re working to maximize the benefits and potential of EVs for our customers – and initiatives like this can help reduce EV cost while supporting the grid during critical times.”
The program will simply draw energy up to three times per month during peak energy usage times in the Summer and Winter and one time per month during the remaining months of the year for testing research purposes and to support the energy grid during hours of peak usage. Participants will have to have the Ford Charge Station Pro home charger and Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power Home Integration System installed in their houses. They will also need to be enrolled in Ford’s software package to enroll.
Duke plans to analyze flows of energy between the grid and EV batteries, where engineers will work with Ford amongst other manufacturers to study the functionality of bi-directional charging integration. Duke and Ford plan to collaborate on a small-scale R&D test in Florida next year.
“Ford’s electric vehicles are unlocking new possibilities in energy management for our customers, becoming valuable energy storage sources that are changing the game on the benefits an EV can deliver,” Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel for Ford, Steven Croley, said. “Alongside Duke Energy and our mutual customers, we’re working to fine-tune and expand these capabilities that will not only power their lives, but also accelerate the development of a less carbon-intensive grid.”
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