Preparing our network for the future
Over the next three years, we’re collecting data on how Kiwis charge their electric vehicles at home so that we can prepare our network for the future.
As more Kiwis start to own and drive electric vehicles (EVs), Powerco wants to understand their charging behaviours so that we can make sure our network can effectively support them, particularly around times of peak loads.
To do this, we launched a Smart EV Charging Project in 2020. The project will see us installing EV smart charging units into the homes of 80 participants across our North Island network and collecting information about their charging habits over the next three years.
Hugo King, Powerco’s Technology and Innovation Engineer, says the data we collect will help us prepare for and meet the future network requirements.
“In 2020, we saw a 23% increase of EV use on our Powerco network. It’s important that we plan for the impact this growth will have on our network. For example, if in 20 years, many of our customers have an EV charging in the garage each night, we’ll need to make significant changes to our network to maintain energy efficiency and ensure our network can support this additional load.”
The Smart EV Charging Project will run from 2021 to 2023, separated into three phases:
- Phase 1 – collecting baseline data, with some managed charging
- Phase 2 – further managed charging, with participants split into different groups and charging schedules
- Phase 3 – focus on load management, simulating a new market by offering EV charging control to third parties
Link to our glossary
Recruitment begins for project participants
First smart charger installations complete
Baseline data starts to be collected
We strive to minimise impact in the design and placement of network infrastructure and we’re still planning and consulting on the route for the new circuit. The circuit will be a mix of overhead lines – which you will see, and underground cable – which you won’t see. You’ll also see a new building at our Putaruru substation, replacing the ageing existing building there.
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