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UC San Diego Selected as Energy Storage North America 2016 Innovation Award Winner


  • Laura Margoni

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  • Laura Margoni

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The UC San Diego/EVgo project combines the fastest electric vehicle charging technology, second-life battery energy storage and integration of solar energy to mitigate impact on the UC San Diego microgrid.

The University of California San Diego has been recognized as an Energy Storage North America 2016 Innovation Award winner for its innovation and leadership in energy storage and positive impact on the energy storage industry. The campus won in the “Mobility” category for its “Second-life Energy Storage + Level 3 EV Charging” project, which combines the fastest electric vehicle charging technology, second-life battery energy storage and integration of solar energy to mitigate impact on the UC San Diego microgrid during peak hours.

“We are honored to receive this award,” said Gary C. Matthews, vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning. “UC San Diego is committed to practices that promote sustainability and innovation, not just on our campus, but in our community and our world. We are proud to help advance this technology.”

The UC San Diego Center for Energy Research began a partnership with EVgo, a leading provider of electric vehicle charging solutions, two years ago to develop this project and others. The first of its kind, the Second-life Energy Storage project consists of four electric vehicle charging stations, a solar panel roof and two second-life batteries. Second-life batteries are batteries that have been used in electric vehicles and still have capacity for alternate uses. These batteries help to reduce the cost of a charging station and, consequently, the cost of owning and operating electric vehicles.

“This unique combination of energy storage and PV with DC Fast Charging provides a convenient, cost-effective way for EV owners to charge their cars while minimizing the impact on the power grid while also re-using used EV batteries,” said Bill Torre, program director for the Center for Energy Research.

As part of the agreement with UC San Diego, EVgo funds university faculty and staff to support the project’s physical installations as well as EVgo’s research, development and demonstration objectives. The project is also part of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Technology Demonstration Program, a program designed to help show the benefits of energy storage coupled with public DC fast charging stations, which can charge an electric vehicle in just 30 minutes.

“The project started with two units and expanded to four,” said Byron Washom, director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at UC San Diego. “UC San Diego’s population of 200 electric vehicle commuters now has access to 30-minute charging while contributing to the research and demonstration of these units.”

Energy Storage North America (ESNA), the largest gathering of policy, technology and market leaders in energy storage, celebrated the winners of its 2016 Innovation Awards and 2016 Champion Awards recently during a reception at the San Diego Convention Center. Award winners were recognized for their leadership in energy storage, services supplied to customers and the grid, unique technology solutions, financing or partnerships.

“The individuals and organizations who received this year’s ESNA Awards have each played a key role in advancing energy storage through impactful programs, projects, technologies or policies,” said Janice Lin, ESNA Conference Chair. “Their work is transforming the energy storage ecosystem by opening up brand new markets and solving real world problems for customers and the grid. The strength of our nominees was unmatched in 2016, reflecting the continued growth and maturation of our industry.”

More information on the award-winning projects and champions can be found here.

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