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.

(2) comments

EdP

Sounds like a win-win. Who knew that renewable energy could be so beneficial. Actually a lot of people did but the fossil fuel industries and federal government are still in denial.

WoodbridgeRobert

I have been studying this initiative and don't have any objections to it as a pilot. The article does not mention a single negative aspect however. I understand Dominion is subsidizing the bus purchase costs such that the districts will only pay what they would be paying for diesel, which I think is about half or possibly less than half of an electric. Dominion would subsidize the charging infrastructure as well. (I dont know how many years they would provide the cost or operating subsidies. I am assuming that eventually the subsidies will phase out and we would likely have to pay a lot more for the electric buses than diesel. Electric buses cost less per year to operate but their range I think is about 100 or so miles I have read. Thus, their use would be realistically restricted quite a bit and probably would not be used for field trips of any distance. Of course, the rate payers of Virginia will be subsidizing the program through their electric rates. To my knowledge, transit agencies like Metro have not gone EV in a big way. There are probably reasons for that. Anyway, here is a link that is useful.

https://www.tysonsreporter.com/2020/01/16/dominion-energy-releases-more-details-on-electric-school-bus-plans/

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