Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the network that keeps the lights on for 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, and the leading electric vehicle manufacturer Nissan have signed an industry-leading partnership.
The two organisations, through a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will work together to explore a range of innovation projects over the next six years.
The projects will look at how electric vehicles (EV), batteries and other technologies can support energy networks. They will also explore how new technologies can enhance the capacity, capability and resilience of the region’s power network to make it more active and responsive to the growing and changing demands of both domestic and commercial customers.
The partnership also represents another step forward for Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility blueprint in Europe, which aims to demonstrate how electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF – the world’s best-selling EV – can work in tandem with energy providers and grid infrastructure to deliver a cleaner, more efficient energy networks.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, for example, allows electric vehicles to be fully integrated into the electricity grid, improving network capacity and helping to make renewable energy sources more affordable and more widely available. It also provides an opportunity to create mobile energy hubs, by integrating large numbers of electric vehicles directly with the grid. This enables Nissan LEAF owners to connect and charge their vehicle during low-demand, cheap tariff periods, and use the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery at a time when costs are higher, or even feed it back to the grid to generate additional returns.
Jim Cardwell, head of trading and innovation at Northern Powergrid, said:“Building on what we are already doing around innovation projects, this signals the start of a ground-breaking industry partnership to explore new innovations that could support the creation of smarter, greener energy networks and help shape future technologies to support the efficient roll-out of electric vehicles.”
Patrick Erwin, policy and markets director at Northern Powergrid, said: “We’re both major employers in the region. By bringing together our expertise we will help the region - as part of the Northern Powerhouse - play a leading role in exploring innovation and technological advances that could potentially benefit future generations, communities, businesses and industries both in and outside of the UK.”
Following the signing of the MOU, Northern Powergrid and Nissan will work together over the coming months to develop plans for a series of projects. Project learnings will be shared in due course.
Ed Jones, EV manager, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, said: “We’ve always known that Nissan’s EV technology can be used for so much more than just getting people from A-to-B and we’re delighted to be sharing our expertise to help create more sustainable energy networks in the UK. Through the integration of Nissan EVs, we can find new solutions that will help shape a society whose energy use is sustainable, efficient and affordable.”