Dominion Energy is moving forward with its electric school bus program with 50 electric school buses being introduced to 16 localities in Virginia
Electric school buses will soon be on the roads in Virginia safely carrying children and reducing emissions as Dominion Energy moves forward with the nation’s largest electric school bus deployment. Phase one will bring 50 electric school buses to 16 localities within Dominion Energy’s Virginia service area by the end of 2020.
In December, the company selected Thomas Built Buses as the vendor for the 50 buses for phase one of the project.
The electric school buses will serve as a grid resource by creating additional energy storage technology to support the company’s integration of distributed renewables such as solar and wind. 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. The buses also provide environmental and health benefits through reduced emissions and reduce operation and maintenance costs for schools by up to 60 percent.
“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 Dominion Energy chairman, president and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II. “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.
This is just the first step in a larger initiative to replace diesel-powered buses with electric buses. Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring at least 1,000 additional electric school buses online by 2025. Once phase two is fully implemented, the buses’ batteries could provide enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes. Phase three would set the goal to have 50 percent of all diesel bus replacements in Dominion Energy’s footprint be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.
Replacing diesel-powered school buses with electric school buses will have a positive impact on the environment and improve air quality. An electric school bus produces zero emissions. Replacing a diesel bus with an electric bus is the equivalent of taking 5.2 cars off the road. If fully implemented, by 2025, the program would be the equivalent of removing more than 5,000 cars from the road per year. That means lower carbon dioxide emissions and cleaner, healthier air for everyone, especially children.