Tuesday, June 5, 2012

EVs or not EVs, that is the Question...

Okay, I've been "off the air" for a while.  Busy with some new projects since last October, and I'm still pretty busy, but an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer got my attention.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article this week covering the PA PUC's consideration of "alternative fuel" vehicles (i.e. Electric and Natural Gas) and their effect on Utility Systems.  A couple of paragraphs from that article are interesting:

"Terry Boston, chief executive of PJM Interconnection Inc., the regional grid operator, said that if a million electric vehicles had attempted to tap into the mid-Atlantic system on a hot day similar to last July 21, when the grid labored under record loads, a massive blackout would have occurred.
...
But the distribution system could accommodate 25 million vehicles if smart-grid controls were installed — they’re currently in the works — and all vehicles were remotely synchronized to recharge between midnight and 7 a.m., when there is an abundance of generation capacity.

Time-of-use rates, which allow suppliers to price electricity hourly to encourage customers to shift loads to discounted off-peak hours, would help manage a more efficient use of the electrical system, the experts said. Pennsylvania utilities are currently mandated to devise hourly-rate options for customers who want them." [emphasis mine]

OK, campers.  Here's a question for you:
Why is it that time-of-use rates are just dandy for getting customers to shift loads to off-peak hours, but if the load is an electric vehicle it has to be remotely synchronized?