TenneT adds more electric BMWs to study use of EVs to support power grids

TenneT adds more electric BMWs to study use of EVs to support power grids

TenneT, an electricity transmission system operator in Germany and the Netherlands, has announced that it has stepped up a pilot project that it had launched in 2019 to study the use of electric vehicle (EV) batteries to stabilize power transmission networks.

In 2019, TenneT had handed over nearly two dozen BMW i3 electric cars to private customers as part of the project. Now, it is adding more electric BMWs to power grid as part of the expanded study. The company revealed that it has plans to 30 more electric vehicles to commercial fleet users over the next few weeks as part of ongoing study.

As parts of the study, the electricity transmission system operator links the electric cars with charging infrastructure and nearby electricity grids to promote renewable energy flows as well as to maintain supply security.

TenneT and luxury car brand BMW are among a large group of public and private sector partners that are participating in the study to test relevant hardware and software in the multi-year endeavor. It is worth-mentioning here that Netherlands-headquartered TenneT is a key stakeholder in the move to a carbon-free economy. In Germany, TenneT operates the largest of the country’s four power transmission networks. It is also one of the largest players in the electricity transmission space in the Netherlands.

Automobile manufacturers are increasingly exploring links between electric cars and power grids as more and more people are shifting from conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs.

The "bi-directional load management" project is studying the process of sending back power to power grids. Normally, power flows from power grids to homes or charging stations and then eventually to EVs. But, the bi-directional load management project wants EVs not just to receive electricity but also to send back power in the direction of the grids when it is not needed by the EVs.

TenneT Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tim Meyerjuergens, “We are interested in finding new ways of flexibly steering weather-dependent, renewable power production and in that way to take stress of the electricity grid.”
Same is true for owners of rooftop solar panels, who can send their home-produced surplus green power to the nearby power grid and earn cash.

Stabilizing power transmission networks is one of the top priorities of the German authorities because the country is installing more volatile wind and solar power as reliable sources of power like nuclear and coal are being reduced due to climate and safety regulations.