Winemaker goes from high energy bill to added profit using his Nissan LEAF’s solar energy storage capabilities

Entertainment

Facing rising electricity costs that climbed to around $6,000 a year, one winemaker decided he had had enough. Joseph Evans first installed a solar energy system to power his entire property while the sun was out. However, he wanted to take it a step further. So, he started using his Nissan LEAF with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities to store energy during the day to power the property at night — which reduces cost and even adds an extra profit stream since he can sell the excess back to the grid.

Vineyard uses solar energy and Nissan LEAF with V2G to cut costs

“I’ve gone from a $6000 annual power bill to making around $50 per week (over $2,500 a year) in profit selling my excess power back to the grid,” says Joseph Evans, owner of Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellars in South Australia.

After watching his electricity bill climb to $6,000, the winemaker took matters into his own hands by installing a rooftop solar energy system. The solar system powers the entire vineyard during daylight hours, reducing electricity costs by $4,000.

Evans was determined to reduce the remaining $2,000 in annual power costs stemming from nightly usage, which is where his Nissan LEAF electric vehicle came to the rescue.

In September, Nissan announced it approved its first V2G charger for LEAF drivers. The EV has come with bidirectional charging capabilities since the model year 2013 but lacked a charging unit.

V2G allows you to send energy from the vehicle’s battery back to the grid during peak demand times to save on electricity costs or make an additional profit, such as in Evans’s case.

That is more than $2500 in annual profit, from what was once a significant cost. And what’s even better is the fact that, while fuel and electricity prices are only heading in one direction — and that direction is up — my costs are fixed, and fixed at zero.

He added, “Instead of paying for my power, I’m getting paid for my power.” Ballycroft is one of the first test sites in Australia approved by SA Power Networks (SAPN) to utilize V2G technology.

This is a game-changer, and I wanted to be right at the front of the queue to have V2G installed. It makes me entirely self-sufficient with my power needs, makes my home and business more sustainable, and it’s so easy to use.

Evans powers up his business and home using a Wallbox Quasar V2G charging unit and the 40 kWh battery in his Nissan LEAF, the same EV he drives to deliver wine to local restaurants. When he’s done, he recharges the LEAF and then, at night, plugs it into the V2G charger to power his home and property.

According to Evans, his Nissan LEAF provides adequate energy for living, heating, cooling, and meeting the demands of his 10-acre vineyard. He also has enough to send back to the grid, earning him a rebate.

You can watch a video of the operation here.

Electrek’s Take

V2G and bidirectional charging technology is unlocking a new benefit for EV drivers. The ability to send energy back to the grid or power a home during peak energy demand hours can save on utility costs and promote a sustainable energy grid.

Adding solar energy into the mix with V2G, as the Bollycraft Vineyard did with their Nissan LEAF, can help maximize the benefits and reduce stress on the grid in the long run while supporting self-sufficient power needs.

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