Denver vehicle-to-building pilot yields net benefits
A collaboration between Fermata Energy, The Alliance Center, and Colorado CarShare has resulted in over $950 in savings on its electricity bills in just four months using one Fermata Energy 15-kW bidirectional charger and one Nissan LEAF, according to news released this week. This savings was generated by reducing the Center’s demand charges by nearly eight percent. At this rate, the annual economic gain at this location is projected to be over $3,000 through demand charge management, said the company.
In spring 2021, The Alliance Center installed Fermata Energy’s V2X vehicle charging system at its historic building in Denver’s Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood to connect EVs, grid electrification, and smart building technologies. It became fully operational in June 2021 and has been generating savings for the nonprofit ever since. Colorado CarShare strengthened the partnership and the earnings of the LEAF by combining a publicly available carsharing program with the V2X capabilities to enhance the output while providing a shared public mobility service.
Earlier report: Denver facility testing vehicle-to-building technology to reduce peak demand
The electric vehicle at The Alliance Center is connected to Fermata Energy’s V2X system—in this case, a vehicle-to-building (V2B) system—consisting of its UL-certified FE-15 bidirectional EV charger and V2X management software. With the FE-15 tied into the building’s electrical system, Fermata Energy’s software monitors the facility’s power consumption, looking for opportunities to manage high-demand periods by using energy from the EV battery rather than electricity from the grid.
Demand charges, a feature of commercial electric bills, mean the commercial customers pay for their highest period of electricity consumption. In the instance of The Alliance Center, an all-electric building, the highest single 15-minute period of energy consumption during a calendar month represents on average 60 percent of the facility’s entire monthly utility bill.
Once installed, Fermata Energy’s V2B system uses data points from a building, car, and charger to evaluate and predict when the building will experience peak power use. It then dispatches the stored energy from the vehicle into the building, thus reducing building energy costs. The system at The Alliance Center has reduced demand by about eight percent, for a 4.5 percent reduction in the overall electricity bill.
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Colorado CarShare continued to add value as the ride-sharing company used Fermata Energy’s charging infrastructure to charge their LEAF while providing power to The Alliance Center while parked.
“The partnership between Fermata Energy, The Alliance Center, and Colorado CarShare is critical to demonstrating the full potential of an electric vehicle,” said Fermata Energy co-founder and CEO David Slutzky. “In just four months of use, the V2B project saved The Alliance Center $950 in electricity costs in addition to reducing fossil-fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from mobile sources through its carshare program. To put that in perspective, the average monthly savings of about $237 covers the entirety of the LEAF’s monthly payment, while at the same time offsetting operating expenses of the vehicles the carshare program has displaced.”
“While our green building was built in 1908, we hold it to 21st-century sustainability standards,” said Chris Bowyer, Director of Building Operations at The Alliance Center. “Our goal was to combine the power of an electric vehicle with building electrification and increase our climate change resilience in a way that demonstrates the abundant possibilities of EVs. We have saved our organization money in a century-old warehouse based on Fermata Energy’s V2X charging infrastructure. Imagine what others can do with a fleet of vehicles connected to their building.”