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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Solar Powered Nissan Leaf Eliminates Winery's Energy Bills

Winemaker Joseph Evans had grown frustrated at an annual electricity bill that had climbed to $6000 for his Barossa Valley vineyard, Ballycroft. And so he decided to do something about it.

The first step, he says, was to install a rooftop solar system that could entirely power his property during daylight hours, immediately removing $4000 from his annual power bill.

 But that still left the question of how he’d power his home and property at night, which was responsible for the remaining $2000 in annual power costs.

His Nissan LEAF, and its Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, held the answer.

“I’ve gone from a $6000 annual power bill to making around $50 per week in profit selling my excess power back to the grid,” the celebrated winemaker says.

“That is more than $2500 in annual profit, from what was once a significant cost. And what’s even better is the fact that, while fuel and electricity prices are only heading in one direction — and that direction is up — my costs are fixed, and fixed at zero.

”Instead of paying for my power, I’m getting paid for my power. “ Evans has also eliminated fossil fuel expenses from the bowser.

Ballycroft has been one of the first pilot sites approved by SA Power Networks (SAPN), who have been leading the way nationally in the installation and integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources within their network

While securing required approvals nationally continues to be a work in progress, customers in South Australia can now apply to SAPN to install a Wallbox Quasar V2G units in the same way they otherwise would for a new home solar or battery installation. JET Charge will be opening orders to South Australian customers in late January for the next shipment of Wallbox Quasar V2G chargers.

“This is a game-changer, and I wanted to be right at the front of the queue to have V2G installed," Joseph says.

“It makes me entirely self-sufficient with my power needs, makes my home and business more sustainable, and it’s so easy to use.

“If your next car is going to be an EV, and it should be, make sure it has Vehicle-To-Grid technology, like the Nissan LEAF.”

Joseph is one of the first in Australia to put V2G technology to the test in a real-world setting, using charging infrastructure supplied by JET Charge and the 40kWh battery in his 100% electric Nissan LEAF.

The sustainability-driven winemaker and viticulturist at Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellars uses his Nissan for the roundtrip to Adelaide to make wine deliveries to local restaurants, before recharging through his solar panels.

He then plugs his LEAF into his V2G charger, and uses the stored energy in the Nissan’s battery to power his home and property overnight, before replenishing it in the morning via solar power.

Not only does the vehicle provide enough energy for all of his living, heating and cooling needs — as well as meeting the agricultural requirements of his 10-acre vineyard — but he also feeds excess energy back into the grid, earning Joseph a rebate tariff.

A simple charging application on his phone means Joseph can charge his LEAF, or discharge the power from it, at the turn of a digital dial, with his vehicle not just providing the power needed for his home and property, but also playing a crucial role in helping to stabilise Australia’s power grid.

Demand for grid power fluctuates significantly, and it’s this instability in the grid that can lead to issues and blackouts. The V2G technology in the Nissan LEAF can also provide energy to the grid to help stabilise the load in peak and off-peak periods.

Ballycroft is among the first businesses in Australia to pilot V2G in a real-world setting, marking a key moment in our transition to a more sustainable future.

It follows the Realising Electric Vehicle Services (REVS) project, which saw 51 Nissan LEAF EVs deployed across the ACT to trial the technology and to explore how it can support Australia’s energy infrastructure.

The Nissan LEAF is the only factory-delivered and warranted V2G-capable battery electric vehicle on the market today.

“While the REVS project continues to be extremely positive, it’s incredibly rewarding to see this game-changing technology now being piloted in a residential and commercial setting, and to see the real-world benefits V2G can deliver,” says Nissan’s National Manager of Electrification and Mobility, Ben Warren.

“V2G transforms the Nissan LEAF from a vehicle into a mobile energy storage solution, at once meeting both your transport and home energy needs.  

“We’ve seen this technology deployed internationally, and it’s so exciting to now see it begin rolling out across Australia, first in the ACT with the REVS project, and now with our first customer site in SA.”

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