The U.S. Air Force has rolled out the Department of Defenses first non-tactical fleet composed entirely of plug-in electric vehicles. 36 of the 42 vehicles at the Los Angeles Air Force Base are capable of taking power from, or feeding it back into the grid, Greentech Media reports.
The fleet includes both electric and hybrid vehicles ranging from sedans to trucks and a 12-passenger van. Unique charging stations have been installed on Los Angeles AFB to support the vehicles ability to be a grid resource.
The vehicles can provide more than 700 kilowatts of power to the grid, sufficient power for more than 140 American homes, and will enhance the power grids reliability and security by balancing demand against supply without having to use reserves or standby generators.
The Air Force said it worked closely with California energy providers and regulators on safety and performance testing as well as technical and regulatory aspects of launching the fleet, and plans to expand the vehicle-to-grid demonstration to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
And the Air Force said it will also continue to look for additional capabilities, such as utilizing used batteries as a form of on-base energy storage.
We absolutely couldnt have done this without our federal, state and private partners, said Miranda Ballentine, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy. 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.
In addition to the electric vehicle fleet in L.A., the Air Force is also investigating the benefits of other alternative fuel vehicles. More than 9,000 ethanol flex fuel vehicles are in the services inventory worldwide, along with 50 biodiesel fuel stations on its installations.
Utilizing electric vehicles for grid stability and demand response is a popular project for utilities across the country lately. Earlier this month, Pepco announced plans to utilize charging stations for demand response, and in October eight automakers announced plans to test cloud integration of electric vehicles for demand response.
Source: Utility Dive
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