‘Largest Vehicle-to-Grid Project in the Country’ Feted at Los Angeles AFB
The U.S. Air Force and California Energy Commission celebrated deployment of a long-awaited fleet of 42 mostly V2G-capable vehicles at the Los Angeles Air Force Base on Friday. By letting charged EVs give electricity back to the grid when needed, vehicle-to-grid technology allows the fleet “to provide more than 700 kilowatts of power to the grid, sufficient power for more than 140 American homes,” the Air Force says, talking up V2G as a way to both save money and enhance security. updated November 18
“Everything we do to fly, fight and win requires energy, whether it’s aviation fuel for our aircraft or power to run the bases that support them,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in a release.
“This vehicle-to-grid pilot is a great example of how Airmen are driving the Air Force forward and finding new and innovative ways to make every dollar count,” she said.
Four Military Bases
In addition to V2G, which can enhance the power grid’s reliability and security by balancing demand against supply without having to use reserves or standby generators, the Air Force says it will “continue to look for additional capabilities, such as utilizing used batteries as a form of on-base energy storage.”
The overall Department of Defense EV demonstration fleet as currently planned will total as many as 72 vehicles at four facilities, with 32 V2G-capable vehicles at LA AFB. Among the V2G-capable vehicles will be 22 all-electric Leaf cars by Nissan, and 32 Ford pickup trucks converted to plug-in hybrid electric operation by Newark, Calif.-base Fremont Ford using equipment from Santa Clara, Calif.-based start-up Evaos (F&F, April 8).
Five of the Evaos Fords are for the Los Angeles AFB fleet. Also for the El Segundo base: Via Motors is supplying 13 range-extended VTrux vans, Nissan is supplying 13 Leaf sedans, EVI/Electric Vehicle International is supplying four range-extended Ford F-550s, and Phoenix Motorcars is supplying an all-electric shuttle bus. Non-V2G vehicles for the base include four Ford C-Max Energi and two Chevy Volt cars.
In addition to Los Angeles AFB, V2G-capable plug-ins are to be deployed at Ford Hood in Texas, at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C., and at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. (F&F, June 3).
Coritech and Princeton Power Systems
Coritech and Princeton Power Systems are providing charging equipment. The complex software to handle the bi-directional electricity was developed by Berkeley, Calif.-based Kisensum via the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
California energy providers and regulators worked closely with the Air Force on safety and performance testing as well as technical and regulatory aspects of launching the fleet, the Air Force says.
“We absolutely couldn’t have done this without our federal, state and private partners,” Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy says in the V2G announcement.
“The shared investment and commitment by our partners illustrates that innovations such as this have value not only to the Air Force and Department of Defense, but to the nation as a whole.”
‘Moving into the Mainstream’
“The Energy Commission is excited to partner with the Air Force to test these vehicle-to-grid technologies,” said Janea Scott, a California Energy commissioner.
“By investing $3 million in this project, we are supporting the demonstration of PEVs potential and value as grid integration and energy storage resources,” she said.
“The forward thinking of the Air Force promises to be an important signal to the market to move this technology into the mainstream,” William Kempton, director of the University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration, said in the Air Force release.
“By requesting V2G-capable trucks and cars from several vehicle manufacturers, placed in bases in several states, the Air Force has helped to stimulate demand from both automotive suppliers and the electric industry in these states.
‘Simply Makes Good Sense’
“We can hope that the Air Force program announced today, together with the recent successful early demonstrations – by the University of Delaware with Honda, BMW, NRG Energy, PJM, and others – will move us from demonstration to early commercial-scale products,” Kempton said.
“Pursuing this program was an easy decision for us,” said Air Force Secretary James. “Energy is key to accomplishing the mission, and as the largest energy consumer in the federal government, we are always looking for opportunities to improve our resiliency, reduce our demand and assure our energy supply.
“From a mission, environmental and fiscal perspective, this program simply makes good sense.”
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Source: U.S. Air Force with Fleets & Fuels follow-up