Home Energy system Electric/Hybrid – Electric school buses in Massachusetts sent power back to the power grid for more than 80 hours this summer

Electric/Hybrid – Electric school buses in Massachusetts sent power back to the power grid for more than 80 hours this summer


The buses returned over 80 hours of power to the power grid for more than 80 hours over the summer, helping to bolster the grid on some of the hottest days when electricity was most in demand.

Working with technology partners Thomas Built Buses, Proterra, Rhombus and Synop, Highland Electric Fleets operated Thomas Built Buses electric buses at 32 network events over the summer, demonstrating the viability of electric buses as V2G assets and providing a model for scaling the service to additional deployments in Vermont, Maryland, Colorado, California, Virginia and beyond.

“Electric school buses are ideal assets for V2G applications,” said Sean Leach, director of technology and platform management at Highland. “Nearly 500,000 school buses in North America spend most of their time parked. Fossil fuel buses offer no value when idle. Electric buses, on the other hand, can be used effectively as mobile batteries when not transporting students to provide additional power that supports grid stability and resilience. We are excited to work with leading partners to expand V2G programs and benefits to other communities. »

Utilities can reduce emissions by using electric school buses as distributed energy resources (DERs) when energy demand increases, rather than using conventional fossil resources for short periods. The Beverly deployment provides critical data that will enable National Grid and other utilities to scale similar V2G programs in the future for more sustainable energy systems.

This is the second summer that electric school buses in Beverly have served as V2G assets: in 2021, Highland coordinated the same partners to use a Proterra Powered, Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley to return approximately three MWh of energy to the grid over nearly 60 hours spread over 30 events. The cumulative 10 MWh that the buses sent to the grid makes a significant contribution to the energy mix and eases the pressure on the electricity system. According to the State of Massachusetts, the average residential customer uses about 500 kWh per month, or about 17 kWh per day. The 10 MWh (10,000 kWh) of the buses is enough to power nearly 600 households for one day.

Chris Bailey, President of Proterra Powered & Energy, added that communities across the country are transitioning to a 100% clean energy and clean transportation future and that electric school buses can play an important role in driving this change – bringing a cleaner, quieter mode of transportation. transportation for students while supporting a more local and resilient energy system by delivering stored energy to the grid when it is needed most.

The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley combines 226 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of total energy capacity from Proterra’s industry-leading battery technology with a Proterra electric drivetrain to deliver up to 138 miles of range to meet the needs of commercial fleets. school buses.

Rhombus Energy Solutions’ 60kW high-power DC fast charger, certified to UL 1741-SA standards, meets rigorous requirements to ensure safe and reliable operation, and can provide bi-directional charging capabilities for up to five buses schools by power control system.

Synop provides fleet managers with an end-to-end solution that helps regulate energy on the grid and provides new financial opportunities for fleets. Between charging management, route planning, energy monitoring and V2G orchestration, Synop automates electric vehicle operations at scale and accelerates commercial electrification.

“For cities looking to optimize their energy grid, V2G is a game-changing technology, and its full potential is only realized when it can be applied to electric vehicle fleets,” said Gagan Dhillon, co-founder and CEO of Synop. “Inter-agency collaboration of this nature is crucial to unlocking this capacity and producing the enormous environmental and economic benefits.”

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Highland Electric Fleets