Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Solar powered military installations are nothing new but there is a twist to the solar arrays being installed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, because LA AFB is also booting out its old gas guzzling general purpose vehicles in favor of a fleet of electric vehicles, making it the first federal facility of any kind to replace an entire fleet with EV's.

Clean Power

LA Air Force Base Gets Solar Panels and Electric Vehicles, Too

Solar powered military installations are nothing new but there is a twist to the solar arrays being installed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, because LA AFB is also booting out its old gas guzzling general purpose vehicles in favor of a fleet of electric vehicles, making it the first federal facility of any kind to replace an entire fleet with EV’s.

Los Angeles Air Force Base gets 100% EV fleet and new solar power installationSolar powered military installations are nothing new but there is a twist to the solar arrays being installed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, because LA AFB is also booting out its old gas guzzling general purpose vehicles in favor of a fleet of electric vehicles, making it the first federal facility of any kind to replace an entire fleet with EV’s.  The base will be used as a proving ground for new energy efficient vehicle-to-grid technologies that can squeeze the maximum renewable energy potential from both photovoltaic cells and the electric vehicles, too.

Electric Vehicles for LA AFB

The new EV program is relatively modest, with no tactical or emergency vehicles making the switch (the Air Force is testing fighter jet biofuel under another program, by the way).  The base will replace about forty sedans, light duty trucks and shuttle buses with all-electric EVs as well as well as hybrid electric and extended-range EVs. However, the program is serving as a study guide and model that could affect tens of thousands of vehicles in the Department of Defense’s fleets, so its impact could be enormous. Part of the assessment involves costs, of course, and DoD will be looking at the cost of installing charging stations and related infrastructure, and analyzing lifecycle costs of electric vehicles relative to conventional vehicles.

Electric Vehicles and Solar Power

There has been a mushrooming trend of pairing EV charging stations with solar installations, so it’s fair to assume that LA AFB’s solar power plans include EV charging. However, the base also has something a little more sophisticated in mind, a demonstration of V2G (vehicle-to-grid) potential. The idea behind V2G is that electric vehicles spend long stretches of time just sitting around parked, with all that energy in their batteries going unused. In the case of solar-charged EV’s, that’s clean energy going unused. Grid-connected, solar-charged EV’s would provide significant financial benefits to the owner, who could defray the cost of both the solar installation and the EV by selling excess energy to the grid.

Microgrids and V2G Technology

The Department of Defense is also testing smart microgrid technology, including a solar powered microgrid, at military bases. This program is designed to help the DoD achieve energy security by removing its facilities from dependence on the grid. V2G technology comes into play because it could help a facility get the maximum energy potential from its microgrid.

Microgrids, Solar Panels and V2G for All…Not

The Department of Defense has established the position that clean, renewable energy is a matter of national defense that covers the civilian world, not just energy-independent military bases, but the majority party in Congress is not interested investing in new technology for domestic use (heck, they won’t even fund disaster relief here-and-now, let alone investing in our future). Microgrids and locally generated renewable energy sure would have come in handy for at least some of the scores of communities struggling to recover from Hurricane Irene, which are still without power days after the storm.

Image: Solar panels at Los Angeles Air Force Base by Lou Hernandez courtesy of U.S. Air Force.

Tina Casey on Twitter @TinaMCasey

 

Advertisement
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

In its quest to decarbonize and electrify, the US Air Force is upgrading its MHU-83 Jammer munitions lift truck.

Clean Power

The US Air Force is already integrating solar power into training exercises that focus on the new Agile Combat Employment directive.

Clean Power

The US Air Force Research Laboratory lists space solar power among its key technology projects for the warfighter of the future.

Clean Power

The US Marines Corps's renewable energy mission could help launch airborne wind energy technology off the drawing board.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.