Los Angeles Air Force Base Vehicle to Grid Pilot Project
Compared to conventional vehicles, plug-in electrical vehicle (PEVs) have attractive operating characteristics; however, PEVs currently have a higher first cost, and this together with costly battery replacement make their life-cycle cost uncompetitive. One potential way to tip the owner cost balance towards PEVs is participation in grid ancillary services (AS) markets, one of multiple practices known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G). One V2G technology development effort is described here, and an update on its application to a mixed duty 40-vehicle 100% PEV pilot fleet demonstration at the Los Angeles Air Force Base (L.A. AFB or the base) is given. About half of these vehicles will participate in V2G markets. The project will assess both the technical challenge of V2G participation and the potential financial benefit. Optimization capability will ensure that the complex task of scheduling charging-discharging of vehicles achieves unimpeded fleet operations, energy cost minimization, and AS revenue maximization. All objectives must be jointly considered, the best overall bids submitted, and optimal scheduling implemented. V2G capable vehicles will participate in the fast response California Independent System Operator (CAISO) Regulation Up and Regulation Down (Reg.U+D) markets. Receipt and response within 4 seconds to dispatch instructions will be enabled by a remote Akuacom Inc. operated Demand Response Automated Server (DRAS), which receives secure CAISO instructions and forwards them using the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) protocol. PEV fleet operation uses Bosch Software Innovations’ eMobility Solution fleet management software suite, which provides the necessary additional frontend PEV fleet management tools and actually implements PEV charging-discharging. Optimization capability based on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab’s) Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) finds optimal scheduling for the fleet. Together these three technologies will form the PEV Fleet Optimization Model (PEV-fleetOPT). Early experience suggests that technically such a V2G scheme is feasible; however, any such project also must confront many policy hurdles. Olivine provides regulatory and interconnection guidance to the project, and the high regulatory barriers and complex interconnection requirements encountered represent an ongoing burden. Tackling these problems and capturing sufficient revenues from the market to move the economics of PEV operation poses a tough challenge.