Montgomery County, Maryland, home to the largest fleet of electric school buses in the the United Stated, just opened the largest transit bus charging station and microgrid in the country. The new charging station, named the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot, is part of the county’s goal to electrify all buses in its public transit system by 2026.
Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is comprised of “solar canopies, battery energy storage, electric bus chargers and microgrid software and controls by AlphaStruxture as well as 1.8 MW of natural gas via on-site generation,” EcoWatch reported.
“The transportation infrastructure of tomorrow is up and running today in Montgomery County,” Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure, said. “This benchmark project serves as a national model for municipalities and private fleet owners across the county to efficiently deploy the charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources that the energy transition requires, accelerating the electrification of medium and heavy-duty vehicle fleets.”
According to Montgomery County’s Office of Legislative Oversight, there are 1.1 million residents in the county of which, about 38,070 people rode the buses on an average weekday in 2018. The bus charging station will be equipped to charge up to 70 buses and will save more than 160,000 tons of carbon emissions over the life of the project, according to AlphaStruxture.
While the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is free to the county, AlphaStruxture will pay for it “through an Energy as a Service (EaaS) model, where the county pays AlphaStruxture monthly for the energy services rather than paying for the upfront costs to install the charging stations and microgrid,” EcoWatch reported.
“Tackling transportation emissions makes up a significant portion of Montgomery County’s bold climate action,” Linda Toth, associate sustainability consultant at Arup—a partner on the project—said. “By opening this pioneering transit center and microgrid, the county with AlphaStruxure is embarking to make a real impact while signaling future opportunities for cities across the United States.”