University partners with nat’l energy supplier
Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 05:09
The university solidified a partnership with national energy supplier NRG Energy on Monday, to develop a technology that allows electric vehicles to deposit energy back into the electricity grid while they charge.
David Weir, director of the office of economic innovation and partnership, said the collaboration will allow NRG Energy to license and manage the technology.
"The strategic partnership between NRG and UD provides the opportunity to tap this enormous potential thereby enhancing energy security, facilitating integration of renewables and lowering the cost of electricity," Weir said.
The new partnership includes eV2g, a company that will pay electric car owners who use the technology because they are redistributing energy back into the power grid.
Professor Williett Kempton, of the School of Marine Science & Policy, researched and patented this technology. Kempton said this will help balance energy and reward consumers for owning electric cars.
"The battery is being used to help the power system balance generation of power with use of power," Kempton said. "It's a way of electrical vehicle owners getting some revenue which then helps pay for the cost of an electric vehicle."
Kempton said the university has three cars that are able to use the technology, and the state has four more.
Lee Davis, senior vice president and regional president of NRG, said the company will expand the technology to more electric vehicles. He said his company benefited from the university's ability to research the technology first.
"For a company like ourselves, we don't have the resources that University of Delaware does to be able to prove out and test this technology, so having this type of partnership with someone that knows how to implement this into a vehicle is exciting," Davis said.
Weir said the technology has the potential to change how America uses oil. He said if all cars were electric, the energy put back in the grid could power America for half a day.
Denise Wilson, executive vice president and president of NRG's alternative energy services, said this can lead to cleaner energy. She said she thinks it will inspire more people to buy electric vehicles because they are receiving money.
"EV2g is going to provide us the ability for consumers to find another way to benefit economically from owning an electric vehicle," Wilson said. "It's part of a mini power plant that can actually provide supply back to our power grids and also take a load off our power grids when there's ample supply. We see it as really beneficial for the country as a whole."