Providing Backup Power With V2B Oakland

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is funding a vehicle-to-building (V2B) resilience hub in Oakland that is designed to demonstrate the value of bidirectional electric vehicle charging for providing back-up power. 

V2B Oakland will act as a resilience hub at the Oakland Public Library for use by local residents in the event of high heat levels or smoke conditions. The hub will be powered using stored energy from the zero-emission electric bus fleet, owned and operated by AC Transit. Each battery electric bus in the fleet will contribute six hours of back-up power to the critical loads at the library, and each hydrogen fuel cell-electric bus will provide up to 11 continuous hours of back-up power. This is expected to displace nearly 100 pounds of carbon emissions per hour compared to traditional diesel back-up generators. The system will power the library’s upgraded HVAC and air filtration system, to provide clean air and electricity in the event of an emergency.

“Initiating the first community resilience hub powered by a bidirectional V2B charging system has been an incredible journey,” said Jason Hanlin, director of technology Research at CTE. “By bringing together leading edge technological innovation and sustainability, we are able to offer much needed emergency response benefits for both transit agencies and communities.

V2B Oakland will be overseen by a green energy project team made up of the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), the Mobility House, AC Transit, New Flyer, Schneider Electric, City of Oakland and WOEIP. The project is funded by an award of US$3.2m fromCEC’s Electric Programme Investment Charge, along with combined $400,000 in matching funds contributed by West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) and AC Transit.

“Powering emergency shelters with islanded energy supply is an innovative feat we are honored to help facilitate,” said Jana Gerber, president of Microgrids North America at Schneider Electric. “It is also exciting to demonstrate how different technologies can integrate with each other so seamlessly and intelligently to allow for crucial backup power for the community and infrastructure.”