Disclosed herein are representative embodiments of methods, apparatus, and systems for charging and discharging an energy storage device connected to an electrical power distribution system. In one exemplary embodiment, a controller monitors electrical characteristics of an electrical power distribution system and provides an output to a bi-directional charger causing the charger to charge or discharge an energy storage device (e.g., a battery in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)). The controller can help stabilize the electrical power distribution system by increasing the charging rate when there is excess power in the electrical power distribution system (e.g., when the frequency of an AC power grid exceeds an average value), or by discharging power from the energy storage device to stabilize the grid when there is a shortage of power in the electrical power distribution system (e.g., when the frequency of an AC power grid is below an average value).
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS STATEMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-AC05-76RL01830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.