Monday, October 6, 2008 at 3:29 PMGoogle.org is proud to announce that it will be one of two major funders, along with the Lemelson Foundation, of the Rocky Mountain Institute's Design Charrette, which will be October 8th through October 10th in Portland, OR. The design charrette is a long-planned three-day conference with the purpose of fostering collaboration and accelerating the integration of plug-in vehicles into the electricity grid. The results of the charrette will be documented and openly available to the public. The foundation of the design charrette comes from months of RMI research also funded by Google.org. In this research, RMI developed a model which enumerates the impact of different levels of plug-in vehicle and grid integration, from simply plugging a PHEV into the wall and charging at will to more advanced scenarios of smart charging and V2G. The design charrette will bring together all the key stakeholders -- grid operators, vehicle manufacturers, utilities, smart grid companies, national labs experts, researchers -- and provide a forum for discussion and for all viewpoints to be heard.
Our hope is that the design charrette will energize stakeholders and increase the focus on developing greater vehicle and grid integration, eventually leading to vehicles playing a key role in supporting incorporation of intermittent renewable energy sources to the grid. Google.org thinks that grid-connected vehicles that incorporate a real-time data communication link between the vehicle and the grid will yield environmental benefits and will add economic value to the plug-in vehicle. Look for the results of the design charrette when they become public!