The Azores will become a testing ground for electric mobility and Vehicle to Grid (V2G)


Medium electric vehicle

Vasco Cordeiro, President of the Azores Islands Autonomous Government, inaugurated a pilot project called ‘Energia sobre Rodas – V2G Açores’ (Energy on Wheels – V2G Azores) yesterday during a visit in São Miguel. This multi-partner initiative is part of a wider governmental policy which wants to see the Atlantic archipelago at the forefront of energy efficiency and innovation.

Bidirectional V2G allows electric cars to both consume and supply electricity

V2G stands for Vehicle-to-Grid and in short, it refers to forward-thinking technology which can make electric vehicles return unused electricity stored in their batteries to the grid network. In that way, drivers could even make money by selling unused electricity to the local energy providers.

The implications, however, go beyond that because it also implies that there will be a sustainable circle of consumption which will see energy being supplied to where it is needed.

That is why, President Cordeiro is of the opinion that this is a project of “strategic importance for our collective future,” adding: “It is not enough to produce energy from renewable energy sources. It is also necessary to use this energy well. This project places the emphasis on that component.”

Bidirectional V2G technology has two main aspects. On one side, there is the electric vehicle and on the other, there is the charging station which can alternatively charge or discharge the car battery and transmit electricity to the local grid.

To that end, the pilot project will include 10 Nissan electric cars provided by the manufacturer. The other partners are MagnumCap (Portuguese start-up that makes the V2G charging stations), Nuvve (software and system intelligence) and EDA (the Azores electrical grid operator).

The General and Regional Directorates for Energy will oversee the project that has the goal of measuring the benefits of this innovation for the users and the electrical company. This is only one component of the regional policy that has seen the Azores being involved in wider energy initiatives, such as RESOR, EMOBICITY and European Clean Energy for EU Islands.

Renewable energies in the Azores could represent 60 percent of the total of the energy produced in the region within five years, with 38 percent of that value to come from a geothermal source, said the regional secretary of Energy, Environment and Tourism, Marta Guerreiro.

“It is estimated that the contribution of renewable production in the Azores for 2025 could significantly increase from the current 37 percent to the 60 percent in which 38 percent will be guaranteed by a geothermal source”, said Marta Guerreiro.

The regional secretary spoke about the launch of the expansion projects of the storage system of geothermal energy from Pico Alto, Biscoitos, Praia da Vitória municipality, in Terceira Island.

Terceira reached, in 2019, about 35 percent of clean energy, mainly due to the use of wind and geothermal energy.

Marta Guerreiro underlined that the aim is to “increase” the value of clean energy in the archipelago, so three geothermal wells will be created in the central station in Pico Alto, representing a €26 million investment.

The secretary highlighted that Azores Electricity (EDA) will make investments in order to “promote the maximisation of renewable energy use”, through storage systems’ integration, that in the case of Terceira translates into a €14 million investment.

“We will, in this way, fulfil a purpose in the region: clean, reliable and competitive energy and for all Azoreans”, said Duarte Pontes, president of EDA administration council.

At the ceremony, Duarte Pontes, stated that the winner of the international contest for the construction of nine geothermal wells was an Icelandic company named Iceland Drilling.

“If everything goes as expected, both in São Miguel and Terceira, these two islands could reach percentages of renewables in the network of the order of 67/68 percent in 2025”, said Duarte Ponte.