Studying present and future electric vehicle impacts on the city of Austin's power grid

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Date

2023-04-21

Authors

Ghose, Dipanjan

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As Electric Vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in the market, they invite mixed reactions from different stakeholders. A major concern is whether the present electrical infrastructure can support the additional load generated by the electrification of the transportation sector. Thus, an intricate analysis of the load changes induced by EVs, both now and in the future, is needed to vouch for the grid’s reliability. For this study, a synthetic grid with a current installed capacity of 3813.6 MW, serving 307,236 customers, is selected. It is based on Austin Energy’s transmission network over the city of Austin, Texas. A DC-Optimal Power Flow approach is then used to test the grid’s supply and demand balance in different EV growth scenarios through 2030 and 2050. Predictions from the federal, state, and local administrative levels are used to model the future number of EVs. For the load shape, a simulated average EV charging curve is superimposed with projected hourly loads in Austin based on historical demand growth. The daily peak load is varied from 2116.69 MW with 28,964 EVs on an average day in 2023 to 4352.91 MW with 1.26 million EVs in 2050. Our analysis shows that the grid’s capacity can sustain till 2030, but falls short by 539 MW in 2050. The results from this study replicate Austin’s current EV growth and can form a basis for utilities like Austin Energy to plan their expansion in the coming years

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