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EV bi-directional charging offers relief for California power grid

By Max Burkhalter
August 2, 2022

Tesla and customers of California's Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) are offering relief for a taxed energy grid. Thousands of Tesla Powerwall owners are participating in an initiative to siphon power back onto the electricity grid using the bi-directional charging capabilities of these wall-mounted home units.

By creating a 'virtual power plant' (VPP), the unified efforts offer relief to the grid during peak electricity use times.

This article will examine how Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity is enabling this groundbreaking sustainability initiative.

Giving back

Initially launched in July 2021, Tesla's VPP program encouraged users to voluntarily participate in the initiative by allowing power to be pulled from their battery packs when the grid required extra power.

As reported by Webull, the anti-brownout program has been augmented to offer compensation for participants. Under the title of 'The Emergency Load Reduction Program' (ELRP), PG&E customers involved in the pilot group will receive $2 for each additional kWh that their Tesla Powerwall delivers during an event.

Depending on the number of Powerwalls homeowners have – and the duration of relief their connected units supply – participants could earn anywhere from $10 to $60 per event.

PG&E has offered VPPs in a variety of fashions for over fifteen years, and continues to offer a variety of IoT-powered smart products – such as thermostats and batteries – to aid power consumption sustainability efforts for green-conscious homeowners.

Energy efficient

Tesla's Powerwall system works by allowing consumers to harness stored solar energy absorbed from an array of panels ideally mounted on a garage roof. A collection of up to ten Powerwalls – or a combination of original models and Powerwall+ units consisting of integrated solar battery systems – can store or siphon energy back to the grid.

IoT technology enables users to monitor their energy consumption, storage and smart controls available via a connected Tesla app while learning and adapting to the energy consumption patterns of owners over time.

By enabling over-the-air updates, consumers can steadily receive new features and learn of initiatives like the ELRP that drive the push toward more sustainable infrastructure.

As noted by Hypebeast, the helping hand won't put your home electricity needs at risk. Participating users can set a 'backup reserve level' on their Powerwalls to ensure that sufficient solar-converted energy remains available to power their Tesla and connected property.

Perle powers automotive innovation

Perle is proud to partner with leaders in the automotive industry as they drive sustainability initiatives. Increasing the bi-directional capabilities of connected EVs is one of the many efforts today's automakers are focused on. Perle offers device servers and terminal servers to aid in the connectivity required to get the job done.


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