Itron, The Mobility House Apply FIX to Address Electric Grid Constraints


Itron Inc. and The Mobility House have unveiled the Fast & Flexible Interconnect (FIX) program, which enables reliable charging of electric vehicle fleets in constrained distribution systems. The first-of-its-kind program is designed to help utilities and grid operators address interconnection delays and infrastructure challenges associated with EV fleet electrification.

The adoption rate of electric vehicles continues to rise steadily, with light commercial vehicles projected to increase from 24,000 in 2021 to 3.8 million in 2030, and substantially increasing strain on the electric grid.

The FIX program will provide low-cost, reliable and rapid-to-implement alternatives to traditional distribution load assessment and infrastructure upgrade methods that are currently not fast enough to meet customer needs or electrification goals. With FIX, transportation electrification goals are achieved more quickly and at lower costs than traditional methods.

The FIX programs suite of applications combines Itron’s Grid Edge Intelligence solutions, including its Optimizer portfolio and distributed intelligence capabilities, with The Mobility House’s charging and energy management system, ChargePilot, and simulation capabilities.

Utility goals and challenges vary widely, which is why FIX offers three varying program strategies:

  • Passive approach — Utility companies can provide pre-determined grid constraints and use load forecasting within the FIX program to meet the needs of fleet operators and distribution grid operators. Combined with ChargePilot, utilities avoid straining the grid by setting a fixed usage limit and adapting charging schedules to respect that limit.
  • Active approach — Using Itron’s Grid Edge Intelligence solutions and The Mobility House’s load management capabilities, utilities can combine firm capacity, which refers to a reliable electrical supply, with flexibility capacity, which allows them to adapt and adjust the amount of additional electricity available for use, based on real-time data from the distribution grid. The goal is to provide the most effective optimized charging capabilities for EV fleets while relieving strain on local utility-side infrastructure.
  • Dynamic approach — Offers an advanced and adaptive solution for charging EV fleets, with a focus on grid awareness, optimization and flexibility for both fleet operators and utilities. With Itron’s EV Optimizer solution, constraints are discovered and load limits are measured while load capacity is forecasted in real-time.

With the FIX program deployed, EV charging can safely exceed the capacity of an electric panel board and utility infrastructure limitations within specific parameters. This allows utilities to plan and install components while accommodating charging requests with more flexibility.

“As a result of widespread EV fleet adoption, utilities and grid operators are facing greater complexity related to grid preparedness,” says Don Reeves, senior vice president of Outcomes at Itron. “By integrating Itron’s Grid Edge Intelligence solutions with The Mobility House’s ChargePilot in a complete package, we enable site-level control with utility infrastructure.”

“Our combined solution gives utilities the power to turn electric vehicles into grid assets,” adds Greg Hintler, CEO–North America at The Mobility House. “With our programmatic approach to addressing distribution constraints, we can create EV infrastructure abundance and ensure a quicker transition to zero-emissions transportation for all.”

The FIX program will be available to utilities and grid operators in North America beginning in the first quarter of 2024.

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