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  • Amy Wagner

Value of Flexible EV Load in Colorado

Updated: Jun 28

The Regulatory Assistance Project and Evolved Energy Research have collaborated on a report to understand the value of electric vehicle charging flexibility to the broader decarbonized energy system in Colorado. Understanding the value of charging flexibility will allow policy makers to explore different regulatory structures and incentive systems that could encourage a lower cost system and potentially enhance adoption of electric vehicles. The analysis focused on the state of Colorado but the methodology and approach could be extrapolated and used in other states. EER contributed to the report by modeling the state’s energy system and the least cost pathways to meet the state’s broader electricity sector goals of 100% clean by 2050 using our RIO capacity expansion model which quantifies electricity generation, transmission and distribution costs by tracking peak load over a set of archetypal charging substations. EER’s analysis builds on the modeling we developed for our 2023 Annual Decarbonization Perspective.

 

Estimated cost savings from increasing levels of EV load flexibility.

The report uses a set of scenarios which explore different potential levels of flexibility by vehicle charging location (residential, commercial, industrial and highway fast charging) and vehicle type (LDV, MDV and HDV). Vehicle flexibility is modeled by specifying the percentage of the load shape that can be shifted in time and the number of hours the charging can feasibly be delayed as well as a minimum customer cost for shifting that load. Results show the total energy costs with and without flexible charging and the competition between vehicle charging and other system flexibility (e.g. utility scale storage and other flexible loads). The analysis compares three different levels of vehicle charging flexibility to assess the range of value to the energy system.

 

Some key findings of EER’s energy system modeling under these three scenarios are:

  • Vehicle flexibility unlocks a significant amount of value with total energy system value ranging from $100-$300M per year in 2035 to $200-$900M per year by 2050

  • Enhanced demand flexibility flattens system peaks and reduces the needs for grid upgrades and optimizes renewable and storage investments to access a lower cost portfolio. With high levels of vehicle flexibility, the energy system is also able to avoid thermal investments.

  • Flexibility from residential LDV charging drives a significant portion of overall value based on avoided costs associated with the archetypal residential feeder and the amount of GWh potential in LDV versus MDV and HDV vehicles. This flexibility would be enabled by an increased use of level 2 charging in residential applications.

 

The full report, which includes the Regulatory Assistance Project’s summary for policy makers and regulators in Colorado and other states, is available for download below.

CO Vehicle Flexibility Analysis 05-2024
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Download PDF • 1.89MB

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