As the new year begins, the Luskin Center for Innovation prepares for two exciting projects recently funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC). In response to the Program Opportunity Notice (PON) entitled “Advancing Utility-Scale Clean Energy Generation”, the Luskin Center has teamed with UC San Diego, San Diego Gas and Electric and others to deploy high accuracy, short-term solar forecasting technologies to allow commercial and industrial ratepayers to maximize their available rooftop space for solar photovoltaic by co-optimizing their electrical demand load with flexible workplace plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). As distributed energy resources gain a greater share of utility generation, forecasting and energy storage technology will play vital roles in load management – lowering integration costs and providing greater reliability at the benefit of ratepayers. The Luskin Center’s role in the project will be to apply its PEV expertise to identify and prioritize top warehouse cluster candidates that may qualify as pilot projects and estimate the ratepayer benefits associated with forecast-enhanced solar systems combined with on-site energy storage capacity. The project is expected to be complete in 2016.
The Luskin Center was also awarded funding for the CEC PON “Zero Emission Vehicle Readiness”. On the heels of the American Planning Association awarded “Southern California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan”, the Luskin Center will take the next step in PEV planning as recommended by the Plan. Specifically, the new project will tackle one of the biggest hurdles to widespread PEV adoption – multi-unit dwelling (MUD) charging. A high number of residents in apartment buildings and condominiums (a significant percentage of which are low-income) remain unable to install charging equipment on-site due to installation costs and ownership issues, and thus are precluded from PEV ownership. In partnership with the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, the goal of the project will be to identify top MUD candidates for outreach and pilot projects based primarily on PEV charging installation costs and PEV demand. The project is also expected to be complete in 2016.