Air Force’s Vehicle-to-Grid Technology Passes Milestone

The Air Force earlier this month completed its final vehicle-to-grid (V2G) certification testing for a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, proving the vehicles could both receive and supply power to the electrical grid and operate without interfering with the installation’s mission.

The fleet has the capability to direct power to and from the electrical grid when the vehicles are not being driven. Bidirectional charging stations at the base can charge a vehicle from the local utility grid as well as discharge a vehicle’s onboard battery to support its V2G capability, reported the Air Force News Service.

The PEV fleet at Los Angeles AFB — which is made up of electric and hybrid vehicles, including sedans, trucks and a 12-passenger van — will be able to provide more than 500 kilowatts of power to the grid. The V2G technology will enable the installation to earn credit for power discharged to the grid that could be used to offset energy costs, as well as enhance grid reliability and power security.

“We anticipate the Los Angeles Air Force Base PEV fleet entering the utility grid’s ancillary service marketplace by year’s end,” said Camron Gorguinpour, the Air Force’s director of transformational innovation and project administrator.

The Air Force, in partnership with the Army, plans to expand the pilot program to Joint Base Andrews, Md.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and Fort Hood, Texas.

Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, said the technology provides another way to enhance energy security.

“Vehicle-to-grid technology is another example of the Air Force and Army partnering to find innovative ways to improve our energy resiliency, optimize our energy usage and assure we have a continuous energy supply to meet our mission,” Ballentine said. “It also showcases the commitment of our federal and state partners, who worked together to leverage this technology and push the envelope in using all the tools at our disposal to improve our energy security.”

The Air Force partnered with the Army, industry, academia, and state organizations to develop the technology used in the PEVs, charging stations and software programs required to generate the V2G bidirectional flow of power. The test was conducted by the California Independent System Operator and Southern California Edison.


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