ACPS Awarded Grant to Turn School Buses Green

ACPS has been awarded a grant to begin a transition to environmentally friendly school buses. 

The grant will allow ACPS to purchase five electric school buses this summer for the cost of five regular school buses.

Under the terms of the grant, Dominion Energy will pay the additional costs towards each of the five buses that ACPS was already scheduled to buy this summer, allowing ACPS to upgrade them to electric vehicles.

The goal is to have the new electric buses on the roads in time for the start of the 2020-21 school year in September.

“We are delighted to be part of this innovative initiative to help school divisions transition to electric vehicles. We know this is the future of transportation and it meets our need to be as green as possible,” said ACPS Chief Operating Officer Mignon R. Anthony.

ACPS is among 16 school divisions to be awarded similar grants within Dominion Energy’s Virginia service area goal of placing 50 electric buses on the road by the end of 2020. Over the past months, our staff has worked with Dominion Energy to ensure that we are leaders in this area in the transition to environmentally friendly transportation. 

The electric school buses will serve as what is known as a “grid resource.” 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 transporting students. The buses also provide environmental and health benefits through reduced emissions and reduce operation and maintenance costs for schools by up to 60%.

ACPS currently has 123 school buses, each of which run multiple routes each day. ACPS has yet to determine which routes will be assigned to these new electric buses. 

Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II said, “We are excited to move forward with our commitment to bringing the benefits of electric school buses to the communities we serve. 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.”

Details of the electrical power distribution and charging apparatus installation will be engineered by Dominion Energy in conjunction with the City of Alexandria and ACPS. Electrification of school buses is a goal of the City’s Environmental Action Plan 2040.

ACPS, News Release