Joseph Evans, the vineyard owner, is no longer whining about his power bills.
At one time, Evans was paying $4,200 or more annually to settle up his electrical bill. Evans runs a vineyard in Australia’s Barossa Valley. To reduce his annual electricity costs, he put a solar system on the roof of the Ballycroft Vineyard. During the day, the property ran on the system, saving him around $2,800.
Still, that left a chunk of money on the table when the sun sets. At this time, he desired to reduce, if not altogether remove, the remaining $1400 from his electrical bill. As a result, he chose a Nissan LEAF that is Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) enabled, as several automakers are already doing.
The Leaf is one of the few EVs in Australia that is V2G compatible, along with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. He, therefore, leaped to include V2G in his vineyard layout.
V2G enables EVs to communicate with and interact with the grid. For most people’s daily trips, modern EVs have huge batteries that rarely emptied or drained to less than 50% capacity. Bi-directional charging allows EV drivers to charge their vehicles using solar throughout the day or the grid and then discharge as needed. With solar charging and then discharging during peak periods when the electricity prices from the grid are higher, V2G can dramatically cut electricity bills and enhance the business case for going electric.
With the Leaf parked at Evans’ house every night, it looked like a simple solution to reduce his electricity bill. Joseph didn’t just lower his electricity bill; he now earns roughly $50 per week from his power exports thanks to his rooftop solar and V2G system.
“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 high 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. So instead of paying for my power, I’m getting paid for my power.”
Australians have recently been experimenting with V2G technology, and Evans is one of the clearest demonstrations of its advantages. His vineyard was one of the first experimental locations certified for V2G integration by SA Power Networks (SAPN).