Pilot use of electric car in Burrillville hailed as new path forward for efficient vehicles

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BURRILLVILLE – An electric car at the Burrillville Wastewater Facility has recently been used as more than just an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation.

The car, a Nissan LEAF, has been utilized to supply power to the town’s wastewater treatment facility, leading the tech companies involved in the effort to tout the project as an example of a new path forward for mainstream adoption of the cars.

The pilot project marks the first-ever customer-owned electric vehicle to support the New England electric grid and has earned one company involved more than $4,200 by participating in a utility demand response program, according to a story this week in Business Wire.

“The electric vehicle and charger delivered power for 57 peak hours this summer when demand was at its highest,” said John Isberg, Vice President of Customer Sales and Solutions at National Grid. “These results help to give us confidence that electric vehicles can be a reliable partner in providing a clean and resilient electricity grid for the future.”

Climate-tech start-up Electric Frog Company also partnered with Fermata Energy in 2021 to install a, “bidirectional charger,” to to manage the charging of the car at the Burrillville facility, and deliver power, on-call, to the building.

“The results achieved at the Burrillville Wastewater Treatment Facility should change how we think of electric vehicles,” said Fermata Energy founder and CEO David Slutzky. “Until now, people thought of an EV as a single-use asset for mobility only. As we just proved, an EV equipped with a bidirectional battery paired with V2X technology enables the EV owner to access a variety of value streams.”

Savings were achieved through National Grid’s ConnectedSolutions DR program, which incentivizes participation with a payment of $300/kW for up to 60 periods of high energy demand between June and September. Fermata Energy reportedly helped to offset 27 peak energy events over the summer in Burrillville, resulting in a $4,200 incentive check to Electric Frog.

The software also lowered the building’s energy cost substantially resulting in bill savings of $222 over three months for the Burrillville facility, according to the story this week.

“We have shown that, not only can our technology save you money, but it will also drive the costs of EVs down with the value we can generate,” Slutzky said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with Electric Frog and National Grid in highlighting the real potential of electric vehicles.”

Editor’s note: An original version of this article mistook the electric vehicle driven by Parks & Recreation Director Andrea Hall with the car at the Burrillville Wastewater Facility. We apologize for our error in not realizing there’s more than one Nissan LEAF in town!

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