Chevrolet Volt owners may soon be able to recharge their plug-in hybrid with renewable energy via a new OnStar service. This technology depends on wind forecasts to show the availability and amount of renewable energy on the electric grid. The predictions are generated by PJM Interconnection, an energy management firm that serves 60 million U.S. users, located mostly in the Midwest, and eastern and southeastern U.S.
OnStar makes use of data from these forecasts to simultaneously handle the charging of multiple Volts and preferably match the availability of renewable energy. OnStar said that the generally, the peak period for renewable energy generation from wind is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., a period when many Volt cars are being charged by their owners.
OnStar said that it is developing a mobile app to inform customers when renewable energy is available. This technology will be shown this week at the 2012 DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio by OnStar and Google. Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development, said that this only proves that customers will demand renewable energy in the near future. Volt owners have to sign up for an OnStar subscription to get the service and charge with renewable energy.