EVs with PVs: Analysis of Electric Vehicle Integration at Stanford University Using Solar PV Panels
This paper was a recipient of AASHE's Award for Student Research on Campus Sustainability.
Author(s): Bethany A. Corcoran, D. Paul Golden, Stephen J. Schneider, Kevin A. Larson
Course Name: Sustainable Mobility
Institution: Stanford University
Publication Date: June, 2009
Paper Type: Non-thesis Graduate Student Research
As electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity, Stanford University realizes that there may be great value in providing EV charging spots on campus for commuters and residents who switch to EVs. This paper proposes a 25 year (2010-2035) scenario for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure from solar electric power that Stanford University can implement on campus. Covering existing parking lots with solar photovoltaic (PV) panel-powered EV charging spots provides a source of essentially carbon-free electricity to charge EV batteries during the day, while avoiding the aesthetic issue of covering Stanford's red tile roofs with PV panels; this also provides an added benefit of shade for the vehicles and increased grid reliability. By maintaining the current amount of commuter and resident vehicles, assuming a logical growth in EV penetration from current drivers switching from gasoline vehicles to EVs, and adding PV panels each year to match this growth in EV capacity, we estimate that Stanford can avoid 362,488 metric tons of CO2 emissions and save 1,225,871 MWh of energy over the 25 year time period while still meeting its traffic and parking spot requirements as outlined in the General Use Permit. Our proposed solution utilizes a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) financing plan for the PV system and a grid frequency stabilization scheme (vehicle-to-grid, or V2G) whereby the EV batteries regulate up/down very slightly during the day to stabilize the PG&E grid, and vehicles using regulation-down charge for free during the day in return. The V2G option creates a mutually beneficial and economically-favorable plan by providing the financial means for the PV and EV charging infrastructure while embracing the increasing use of EVs. Based on the results of this study, we believe that Stanford University should actively consider implementing this proposed "EVs with PVs" solution.
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