School buses are a staple of most communities. Their bright yellow presence invokes a sense of nostalgia, both good and bad, for any child who ever braved the drama of being with 50 other peers with lots of energy and little empathy. Today, school buses are representing a new kind of opportunity – one that could help the health of our kids and the future of our planet – and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is behind it.
A new Virginia law now allows electric school buses to be considered “grid assets.” This is made possible because V2G enables electric buses to serve as mobile energy storage solutions. And they are the perfect candidate. Electric buses have huge batteries and only operate at specific times during the school week. Most of the time, they sit idle, available to be used for grid services, demand charge management, and even emergency power back-up. Imagine a fleet of buses responding to an emergency situation, acting as a virtual power plant (VPP) for an area that has lost its power.
Nuvve’s own V2G trials with school buses in California and New York are successfully demonstrating the benefits of electrifying such fleets.
While there is growing awareness that electric school buses help reduce CO2 emissions and create a cleaner environment for kids to commute to school, retiring a fleet of existing buses and purchasing new electric models is expensive and takes approvals, coordination, and time. Thanks to V2G and this new Virginia law, utility companies can use rate payer dollars to purchase electric buses and then lease them back to school districts. This will help districts avoid the expensive capital investment of the electric buses, help improve air quality, create a better environment for kids, and help stabilize the grid, all at the same time.
The new law is already being put into action. Last week, Dominion Energy Virginia announced a new deployment plan for the nation’s largest fleet of electric school buses, providing a cost-friendly option for districts to provide cleaner transportation for their constituents. The utility company also gets the added benefit of a more stable grid and the power to deploy a fleet of mobile batteries if ever the need should arise.
Nuvve’s V2G technology will continue to play a critical role in this revolutionary model of bridging the gap between the energy, transportation, and now education sectors throughout the country and around the world.