CEC awards dcbel $52M grant to deploy EV chargers in California that respond to grid signals

dcbel EV charger
Along with bidirectional EV charging, the dcbel Home Energy Station provides a powerful solar and home battery inverter with built-in artificial intelligence capabilities. (CNW Group/dcbel Inc.)

The California Energy Commission’s (CEC’s) Clean Transportation Program made up to $300 million in grant funds available “to accelerate the development and deployment of easy-to-use charging products which help customers manage electric vehicle (EV) charging and respond to dynamic grid signals.” This is the second phase of funding under the Responsive, Easy Charging Products With Dynamic Signals (REDWDS) competitive grant solicitation.

Smart home energy company dcbel just received the largest tranche of the grant, about $52 million, which will be used to accelerate the deployment of Home Energy Stations throughout California.

This solicitation builds upon the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and International Standard for Organization (ISO) 15118 technical requirements included in CEC’s block grant projects, as well as recent revisions to the Load Management Standards.

“dcbel is committed to simplifying and electrifying smart home energy. This funding is a testament to that commitment,” said Dan Fletcher, dcbel’s Chief Business Development Officer. “Our all-in-one solution is ready to change the way homes interact with the grid and, crucially, allows people to make use of their EV’s energy for backup power and to discharge their EV battery to provide grid flexibility services.”

To execute this project, dcbel will collaborate with a consortium of esteemed partners including UC Davis, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Southern California Edison, Sonoma Clean Power and Grid Alternatives.

REDWDS focused exclusively on funding solutions that help customers easily respond to dynamic grid signals and minimize charging and discharging costs. Here are some notable features that sealed the deal for dcbel’s platform:

  • Home Energy Station (HES), the first UL-certified residential bidirectional direct current (DC) electric vehicle (EV) charger in the US that doubles as a powerful solar and stationary battery inverter.
  • Orchestrate, the HES’ grid edge computing platform that plans whether to use, store or sell energy.
  • dcbel Chorus, a CSIP-certified, real-time technical aggregation IoT platform enabling affordable, easy and automatic residential energy production, storage and export. By supporting industry-leading protocols such as IEEE 2030.5 and OpenADR, Chorus forms the bedrock of the burgeoning residential energy ecosystem.

With minimal intervention, HES customers will find their EV charged and ready when they need it using the least costly energy source available. Importantly, the Home Energy Station is ready to serve even the most demanding residential energy prosumers from the get-go.

Customers can subscribe seamlessly and safely to multiple energy programs provided by utilities, energy service providers, microgrids and virtual power plants through dcbel’s app-based platform. Customers looking to partake in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) incentives can browse among the providers available in the dcbel app hub, and are a tap away from enrolling and participating while maintaining complete control.

This revenue potential is bolstered by the promise of resilience in the face of blackouts that plague the nation’s aging energy grid. dcbel’s Home Energy Station can power homes through grid outages lasting multiple days by leveraging the massive amount of energy stored in an EV.

For increased independence, homeowners can connect solar panels and a home battery to the Home Energy Station and enjoy the compounded benefits of additional blackout power, cost savings and revenue opportunities provided by these assets.

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