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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

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  • Nov 19, 2021
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My question is whether these batteries could feed into the grid when the trains aren't in use? 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 19, 2021

Love the idea-- if V2G is more valuable for fleets because of size, for school buses because of reliability of schedule, then T2G could meet all of that in a really interesting way. As with all these opportunities, though, it comes down to running the numbers. Curious if there's an economic case to be made and what sort of battery performance we'd need to wait for (if not yet already available)

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 19, 2021

If the batteries are being charged by electricity from natural gas plants, Henry, who cares? It would produce even more CO2 emissions than powering trains with natural gas.

It almost seems like natural gas majors, particularly Shell and Exxon-Mobil, are promoting these ridiculously-misinformed scenarios in order to waste more gas, at electricity ratepayers' expense. In fact, it seems a lot like that.

Roger Arnold's picture
Roger Arnold on Nov 19, 2021

So just don't charge the batteries with electricity from natural gas plants. The intermittency problem with renewables means we still need the generation capacity from gas-fired power plants for backup, but It doesn't mean that they have to be producing most of the time. A large fraction of delivered megawatt-hours can still come from renewables -- provided that sufficient renewable capacity can actually manage to get deployed. But that's a different issue.

For this application, the fraction of energy supplied from renewables can easily approach 100%. It's only charging batteries, after all. One can't ask for a better application for time-shifting load than battery charging. We would need to have a healthy surplus of battery cars over the number of moving trains. That would provide the flexibility needed for charging on sidings from as-available power.

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