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by James Spellman, Jr.
Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs

8/13/2015 – LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. — Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center hosted the Honorable Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, along with other high-ranking officials Aug. 12 to a demonstration of transformational innovation.

Through the use of plug-in electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technology, collectively known as PEV-V2G, Los Angeles Air Force Base is demonstrating how a military installation could reduce its energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy diversity and security. The base is the first facility in the Federal government to replace 100 percent of its non-tactical vehicle fleet with plug-in electric vehicles and is the largest V2G demonstration in the world.

U.S. Representative Ted Lieu from California’s 33rd congressional district and Dr. Camron Gorguinpour, Director of Transformational Innovation to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisitions, were welcomed by Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, SMC commander and Air Force Program Executive Officer for space, Maj. Gen. Robert McMurry, SMC vice commander,  Mr. Tom Fitzgerald, acting SMC executive director, Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander,  Lt. Col. Todd Inouye, 61st Civil Engineer and Logistics Squadron commander and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC command chief during the distinguished visit to the South Bay area.

“I am honored Secretary James made the trip out today. We had a productive visit and she was able to see the base’s unique ability, located in the South Bay aerospace cluster, to carry out the mission of the Space and Missile Systems Center,” said Rep. Lieu, a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.

“I was also thrilled the Secretary received a demonstration of the PEV fleet and the V2G program, the first-of-its-kind in the nation. Los Angeles takes immense pride that their local Air Force base is leading the charge in lowering carbon emissions while helping to stabilize the electric grid, and I commend the Air Force and SMC commander Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves on moving forward with this innovative program.”

The Secretary’s visit was highlighted by a display of the latest generation of PEVs and PHEVs parked outside the Gordon Conference Center with representatives from the California Energy Commission and Southern California Edison in attendance. Secretary James examined a Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, VIA Motors van, VIA Motors pickup truck and EVI Range Extended Electric Vehicle in the courtyard of the Schriever Space Complex before taking a demonstration ride around SMC headquarters in a Phoenix Motorcars 100 percent electric shuttle van.

Although looking at briefing boards, static displays and even riding as a passenger in a PEV or PHEV is one thing, getting hands-on experience with one is an entirely different matter.

After touring the V2G fleet at their charging stations on Los Angeles AFB – the largest of four test sites including Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey and Fort Hood, Texas – Secretary James got behind the wheel for a test drive in a Nissan LEAF sedan, joined by Colonel Turner and Lt. Col. Inouye.

“The V2G system is comprised of PEVs, bi-directional charging stations, and software controls that enable an installation to compete in utility ancillary services markets,” said Inouye. “Customized for each base, the On Base-Electric Vehicle Infrastructure software provides the communication and controls needed for all aspects of V2G.”

According to Inouye, the goal of the OB-EVI is to meet the base’s vehicle fleet mission requirements as well as utility system operator’s charge and discharge requirements, thereby maximizing ancillary services revenues and minimizing nonconformance penalties. Energy providers will pay for V2G services, with vehicle batteries providing an energy source to help stabilize the electrical grid.

Through its V2G services, a military base is able to reduce its energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Los Angeles AFB is undergoing a year-long seasonal study to measure actual cost savings to determine the feasibility of implementing V2G to other installations.

“The V2G technology allows our PEVs to provide more than 700 kilowatts of power – enough to power 140 typical American homes during peak demand on a hot summer afternoon,” Turner explained.

“By sponsoring the V2G demonstration here, the DoD is gaining experience in determining how to make its installation electric distribution systems more resilient while potentially earning revenues that can reduce installation utility expenses.”

“I’m always impressed by the high caliber of our Airmen and SMC as the Air Force’s center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems,” James said. “I like getting out and seeing what they’re doing with cutting-edge technology like PEV-V2G to help lower our energy costs and carbon emissions as a benefit to our nation’s electrical needs. It is easy to forget how the Global Positioning System started out 20 years ago as a military technology through SMC and has greatly impacted the world at large today as a civilian utility.”

Secretary James’ tour was part of a two-day visit that included Beale Air Force Base in northern California, followed by Northrop Grumman Space Park in Redondo Beach and SpaceX headquarters in neighboring Hawthorne, Calif.


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