London bus depot becomes world’s largest vehicle-to-grid site

Go-Ahead’s Northumberland Park depot is generating electricity from buses when not in use as part of what is claimed to be the world’s largest vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial. 

The project, Bus2Grid, enables energy stored in an electric vehicle’s battery to be fed back into the electricity network. By recharging when demand is low and putting energy into the grid when it is high, V2G helps manage the peaks and troughs, balance the network and make it more efficient.

It is estimated that if the entire London bus fleet of around 9,000 vehicles were to be converted with the technology being used in the Bus2Grid project, it could theoretically provide enough energy to supply more than 150,000 homes. 

The Bus2Grid project will be led by SSE Enterprise in partnership with the mayor of London, TfL and Go-Ahead London. 

The initial trial will use the batteries of 28 double-deck buses, capable of returning over 1mW energy to the grid.

Niall Riddell, smart systems innovation sector director, SSE Enterprise, says: “Central to the challenge of decarbonising our transport and achieving climate change targets is how we can optimise the existing flexibility within the energy system. 

“Developing a charging infrastructure that operates in two directions so that batteries can give back as well as take from the grid is an important part of this,” he adds.

The three-year trial for the Bus2Grid project is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles with the support of Innovate UK.