South Tyneside in global electric charging first

The UK’s South Tyneside Council has become part of a world trial which will see electricity from three electric charging points sold back to the national grid.

The scheme is part of the £9.8 million e4Futures project led by a consortium headed by Nissan which also includes infrastructure specialist Nuvve, National Grid, UK Power Networks, Eon and Northern Powergrid.

Newcastle University and Imperial College London will also be carrying out research and analysis work on the project.

The authority is the only one in the North East of England to have the chargers – called Vehicle to Grid or V2G – installed.

The three chargers at Middlefields depot will be used by the Council’s fleet of electric vehicles.

Designed to help alleviate pressure on the National Grid, the V2G chargers allow electricity to flow to and from the grid and the parked vehicles, providing the National Grid with an additional source of energy during peak times.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, lead member for Area Management and Community Safety with responsibility for climate change said: “It is fantastic that South Tyneside is part of the V2G trial which is the first of its kind in the world. Being a player in this innovative project allows us to make a significant contribution to a more sustainable carbon neutral future.”

“As electric cars become more popular it is vital that the associated increase in electricity demand can be managed effectively. With electric vehicles also increasingly being viewed as energy resources, it’s important that we understand how any spare capacity in electric vehicle batteries can be used to benefit the network as a whole. “

Councillor Gibson added: “In addition to helping the environment, we can also unlock economic benefits by charging our vehicles when costs and demand on the grid are low and then sending power back to the grid at peak time.”

In July 2019, the Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to take all necessary steps to become carbon neutral by 2030. In a statement it added that the decision to take part in the e4Futures project is another example of how it is delivering on its priority of investing in the natural and built environment.

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