Featured image: Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and ENGIE ANZ CEO Rik De Buyserie standing next to an electric vehicle. Image courtesy of Energy and Mining South Australia.

A landmark electric vehicle (EV) charging station, which uses bidirectional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, in a collaboration with Flinders University and ENGIE has been brought online in South Australia. 

The project, backed by the South Australian Government, has demonstrated how EVs can be harnessed to support the state’s electricity system during periods of peak demand, bringing ten V2G chargers online. 

The V2G charging bays can charge and discharge electricity to the campus’ electricity grid, which creates a virtual power plant (VPP) to benefit the Flinders University staff, students and fleet. The University already has regular DC and AC chargers implemented and available to those who have switched to EVs, with the entire network delivering the University’s solar and wind-sourced energy.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, said that the educational institution is supporting the State Government’s shift to renewable energy. 

“As part of our mission to be climate positive and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions we’re investing in a growing fleet of electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them – including bidirectional smart chargers which will enable our EVs to store electricity at our Bedford Park campus for use during periods of peak demand,” Prof Stirling said.

“Flinders runs on 100 per cent renewable energy, including 20 per cent generated right here on campus through our massive solar arrays. Thanks to the South Australian Government’s Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Trial we’re taking another big step towards sustainability.

“With inspiring education and research into solar and battery technologies we’re supporting South Australia’s transition to a renewable world, underpinned by incredible research growth of 140 per cent in just five years,” Professor Stirling said. 

The project has recently won the Flinders University Sustainable Development Goals Initiative of the Year Award at the Triple E Awards in Barcelona and the initiative is one of several which is funded under the State Government’s $3.2 million Smart Charging Trials. The data collated from the trials will help frame and inform the future direction of EVs throughout the state. 

The trials complement South Australia’s statewide EV charging network being rolled out by the RAA, delivering more than 500 charging bays to 140 sites in 52 locations.

Featured image: Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, and ENGIE ANZ CEO Rik De Buyserie standing next to an electric vehicle. Image courtesy of Energy and Mining South Australia. 

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