Some of Dominion Energy’s first phase of electric school buses will be rolling this year in four Northern Virginia communities, the company announced Thursday.
Prince William, Arlington and Fairfax counties and Alexandria were among the 16 school divisions included in the first phase of 50 buses across Dominion’s Virginia footprint.
The company announced the nation’s largest electric school bus deployment in August 2019, with plans to have 1,000 electric school buses running by 2025 and all diesel buses replaced in Dominion’s coverage area by 2030.
The electric school buses will serve as a grid resource by creating additional energy storage technology to support the company's integration of solar and wind energy, according to a news release.
The "vehicle-to-grid" technology leverages the bus batteries to store and inject energy onto the grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not needed for transport, Dominion noted. The buses also provide environmental and health benefits through reduced emissions and reduce operation and maintenance costs for schools by up to 60%.
"We are excited to move forward with our commitment to bringing the benefits of electric school buses to the customers and communities we serve," said Thomas Farrell II, Dominion’s chairman, president and CEO. "This is an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children's health, make the electric grid stronger, and free up money for our schools."
This initial deployment will bring electric school buses to each of the company's operating regions. Localities were selected based on the benefit the batteries would bring to the electric grid.