Electric Bus Garage in London to Feed the Grid in Largest Ever Trial

A bus garage in London housing 28 fully electric buses is set to become a virtual power station in the what will be the world’s largest trial

Electric Bus Garage London

A bus garage in London housing 28 fully electric buses is set to become a virtual power station in the what will be the world’s largest trial to see if the stationary electric buses can feed power into the grid from their pooled batteries during periods of high demand, and in turn, help Britain meet its 2050 net-zero climate change target.

From November this year, the trail of the government-funded Bus2Grid project will take energy from the 28 parked zero-emission electric buses and feed it into the grid during times of high energy demand for a period of three years, in an attempt to make the electricity network more efficient.

London has one of Europe’s largest electric bus fleets with more than 200 vehicles, and drawing from the proposed success of the trial run, if the government-funded project is rolled out across London it could power an estimated 150,000 homes.

Energy firm SSE Enterprise will lead the project, backed by Bus2Grid project in a partnership including the mayor of London, Transport for London, bus operator Go-Ahead London and the University of Leeds. The Bus2Grid project claims the Northumberland Park garage will be the “world’s largest” vehicle-to-grid site.

Niall Riddell, smart systems innovation sector director for SSE Enterprise, told British media that “Central to the challenge of decarbonising our transport and achieving climate change targets is how we can optimise the existing flexibility within the energy system. Developing a charging infrastructure that operates in two directions so that batteries can give back as well as take from the grid is an important part of this.”

Dr. Stephen Hall, from the University of Leeds, said that electrifying transport will have huge benefits for air quality in cities and for meeting our climate change commitments.

“Large electric vehicles like these can also support the energy system, but this means creating new ways of working between energy utilities, grid managers and transport providers.”

At the beginning of the year, we had reported that US-based Dominion Energy was moving forward with its electric school bus program with 50 electric school buses being introduced to 16 localities in Virginia.

Phase one will bring 50 electric school buses to 16 localities within Dominion Energy’s Virginia service area by the end of 2020. In the latter phase of the project, the buses are proposed to 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.

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.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.