Airport car parks could be a source of power for the grid

Airport car parks could be a source of power for the grid

Author: FutureCar Staff    

A new study has revealed that electric vehicle (EV) drivers using long-stay carparks could help power an entire city with green energy while offsetting parking fees. The research, called 'Park and Flex' and conducted by UK Power Networks, found that more than 1.3 million homes could be powered by filling up EV batteries in long-stay car parks during times of cheap energy and low demand. This excess power could then be injected back into the system at peak times using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging.

The study suggests that the potential of 4.3GW of flexible electricity demand could play a significant role in helping London, the East, and South East of England transition to a low carbon economy. Advanced modelling was used in conjunction with forecasts from UK Power Networks and energy specialist Baringa to determine the impact of EVs on the electricity distribution network in the coming years.

The research showed that long-stay car parks, such as those found at airports, offer more benefits compared to shorter-term solutions like hotels or supermarket car parks. The length of a customer's stay, which can be determined by their flight dates, provides network operators with valuable information about spare power or capacity that can be utilized at any time.

If implemented across the 140,000 long-stay parking spaces in the areas served by UK Power Networks, the study estimates that £1.3bn in flexible energy savings could be achieved by 2050. Ian Cameron, director of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks, envisions a future where dormant vehicles can be used as the foundation for a large-scale flex battery, contributing to a new green energy supply without requiring any effort from customers.

The Park and Flex project, developed in collaboration with Fermata Energy and energy consultancy Baringa, aims to explore how this vision can be rolled out nationally and identify the necessary customer incentives to make it a reality. The project is supported by funding from Innovate UK's Strategic Innovation Fund.

Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy, emphasized the potential of EVs and V2G charging to support distribution networks during peak events. He highlighted the value that can be unlocked in key grid locations, such as airports, where thousands of vehicles are parked for extended periods, offering both resilience and cost reduction.

For more industry news, click here.

FutureCar Staff
FutureCar Staff
Prev:2030 ban delay, car buyers oppose as never going electric Next:Dangerous Car in Los Angeles
    view more