In an interesting development which may be a sign of things to come without appropriate grid planning, owners of Tesla electric vehicles in Texas have been given a message on their navigation screens that the “grid operator recommends to avoid charging during peak hours between 3pm and 8pm, if possible, to help state-wide efforts to manage demand.”
Six power generation facilities went offline in the state in May as it experienced a heatwave, with temperatures peaking around 34oC, well above the 23oC average for the time of year. The news is a clear sign that more active management of grids, and upgrades of them, will be required to manage the widespread electrification of the economy, as has been pointed out by various commentators already (such as Reuter’s John Kemp).
While the message would be somewhat alarming as a motorist, it does also suggest there will be means of influencing user behaviour to manage tight times in grids. The advent of bi-directional charging as a standard feature in electric vehicles, such that their batteries can export to households (or grids) at certain times is likely to be of additional help.