BusinessFord becomes first automotive manufacturer to join OpenADR Alliance...

Ford becomes first automotive manufacturer to join OpenADR Alliance as EV market drives membership growth in Europe


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Ford Motor Company (Ford) has become the first automotive manufacturer to join the OpenADR Alliance Board of Directors and as a member company, as demand for electric vehicles (EVs) accelerates. Created to foster the development, adoption, and compliance of the OpenADR and related communications standards, the Alliance has seen record growth in membership, with managed EV charging platforms the fastest growing component.

EVs ford

With 7.8m EVs sold worldwide in 2022 – around 10% of global automotive sales – there are huge implications in terms of demands on the electricity grid. Utility companies are looking to expand their networks and charging programs cost-effectively, while avoiding delays in distribution upgrades. Based on open standards like OpenADR, they can integrate new technologies like pricing and capacity management and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication.

Rolf Bienert

Rolf Bienert, Technical and Managing Director, OpenADR Alliance, comments:

“The OpenADR Alliance ecosystem has traditionally been made up of control manufacturers and utilities, but now we are attracting members from the automotive and associated sectors.

Ford will bring a new perspective and insights to help us define and expand innovative new services for OpenADR.”

Sunil Goyal, Advance Project Leader – Energy Service, Ford Motor Company, adds:

“Ford supports open standards as a way to overcome interoperability challenges in young but maturing markets – like what we have today for VGI (Vehicle Grid Integration).

This aligns well with OpenADR’s mission. We are looking forward to the opportunity to lend our voice to this effort.”

OpenADR Alliance growth in EMEA

The OpenADR Alliance has seen record growth over the last two years, with a global ecosystem of almost 200 members, more than 280 certified products, and 10 approved test facilities as more utilities and integrators consider OpenADR for enabling interoperable and secure networks. Its influence is growing rapidly in Europe and the Middle East, with a 400% increase in members from the region, including UK, Germany, Italy, Israel, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands.

OpenADR is already being used in several use cases in Europe. These include demand response aggregation by the National Grid in the UK; Project ELBE, an incentive program for EV charging with Stromnetz-Hamburg, Vattenfall, Hamburg Energie and ChargePoint in Hamburg; and load balancing for efficient EV charging management by E.ON in Germany and Western Europe.

With the inclusion of OpenADR 2.0b into two new BSI PSA standards for energy smart appliances, designed to support the UK’s transition to a net zero economy, the Alliance is also collaborating with other organisations and standards bodies in Europe, including DKE (The German Commission for Electrotechnical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE), and EEBUS in Germany, and UK’s Dept. for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

As a result of this activity, the Alliance will host the first European OpenADR++ User Conference from 6-7 June 2023 in London, co-hosted by the BEIS. Aimed at electric utilities and other energy service providers, policy makers and regulators, researchers and control suppliers who share a common interest in standardised, automated demand response technology, this working meeting will include daily keynotes, use case examples, and workshops around OpenADR and other standards.

OpenADR Alliance’s Rolf Bienert, who recently relocated to Portugal, adds: “We have been well established in other regions, particularly the US, for several years. But as European markets like Germany and the UK invest more in technologies for electric vehicle infrastructure, battery storage and renewables, we’re now expanding our reach with the help of our partners and members. The next 12 months will be an exciting next stage of the Alliance’s development.”

EVs ford

Other major milestones:

– OpenADR Alliance recently launched EcoPort, a new testing and certification program for CTA-2045 compliant products. Major water heating manufacturers, Rheem and American Standard Water Heaters, and a component module provider e-Radio USA are the first to achieve EcoPort certification. EcoPort is the consumer-facing brand for the ANSI/CTA-2045 technical standard created by a collaborative group of utilities, manufacturers, and other stakeholders, and helps local electric utilities support water heaters and other appliances as part of peak-load management or other customer programs.

– Bulgarian electric vehicle charging management platform provider, AMPECO and OpenADR Alliance announced a new partnership, enabling charge point operators to integrate their charging networks and manage energy loads on the grid. Operators can participate in cloud-based demand response events to generate extra revenue and explore new applications for dynamic pricing, renewable energy integration, and ancillary services.

– Showcased for the first time at Enlit Europe in Germany last year, the Alliance’s ‘Flexibility in a box’ allows for rapid demand resource (DR) integration. Energy companies are able to act quickly in the event of power shortages, while end users can change their usage patterns to save money and optimise energy efficiency.

EVs ford

The OpenADR Alliance, a non-profit corporation created to foster the development, adoption, and compliance of OpenADR and related standards, helps utilities manage the growing pool of distributed energy resources, which includes renewable energy, energy storage, demand response and electric vehicle charging. The OpenADR standard supports communications to all DER resources to manage changes in load shape, energy inputs and power characteristics of DER assets. The recently added EcoPort standard additionally enables smart appliances to be connected. 

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