Electric vehicles (EVs) and solar power (PV) are often considered in silos. But as part of its long-term grid transformation strategy, our client, ENMAX Power, wanted a holistic take on a three-part question: How will customers adopt electric vehicles and solar power in current conditions? What will greater adoption mean for overall electricity usage? And critically, what can ENMAX do to optimize adoption of both in order to meet evolving customer needs while maximizing value to the organization and minimizing negative impacts to the grid?

Leveraging our Electric Vehicle Adoption (EVA) and Solar Adoption (SAM) models, Dunsky projected uptake of both technologies under various market and policy scenarios, and assessed corresponding energy and load impacts for the utility.

Overall, our modelling suggests that over 400 MW of distributed residential and commercial solar PV will be installed in Calgary by 2035, eroding energy usage by some 470 GWh annually. On the other hand, we find that EV sales in the truck-heavy city could be made to grow by as much as 50% above business-as-usual – leading to nearly 200,000 EVs on the city’s roads by 2035 – under a variety of “action” scenarios. Modelled actions include deployment of public charging stations, increasing access to home charging for multi-unit residential buildings, and vehicle purchase incentives.

In other words, enabling greater adoption of solar and EVs is a complex transition with many components, and ENMAX continues to explore progressive solutions that support new technologies. ENMAX’s next step will be to assess temporal and geographic considerations. This will help to minimize impacts on load shape, and add value through investments in smart grid technology that both maximize efficiency today and help prepare for the needs of tomorrow.