Maryland county’s Smart Energy Bus Depot is a model of sustainable fleet charging

Solar Panel - 3D Canopy Rendering Image. Credit: Montgomery County, MD

This week Energy as a Service (EaaS) provider AlphaStruxure, which is a joint venture between Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, said it will deploy an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project for Montgomery County, Maryland.

The project will enable at least 44 buses in Ride On Montgomery County’s transit fleet to transition from diesel to electric, helping it meet the goal of being net zero by 2035.

AlphaStruxure said that the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a first-of-its-kind integration of microgrid and EV charging infrastructure. The company will design, build, finance, own and operate the project and lists the following benefits that it will bring: 

  • Bus Electrification: Enabling the County’s transition from fossil fuel buses to electric buses with a customized energy and infrastructure solution
  • Environmental Sustainability: 62 percent carbon emissions reduction with electric buses powered by the microgrid and lifetime greenhouse gas benefit of over 155,000 tons
  • Climate Resilience & Operational Reliability: Ensures uninterrupted bus services during any long-term power outages caused by severe weather as well as any short-term disturbances or perturbations of the utility grid
  • Flexible Fleet Operations: Avoidance of utility demand charges and time-of-use tariffs provides fleet operations with ultimate dispatch flexibility
  • Financial Benefits: Energy as a Service approach eliminates upfront cost to the County for the project including all microgrid and charging infrastructure, and provides long-term cost predictability for energy supply
  • Economic Development: Creates more than 50 construction jobs

The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will utilize Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform, including microgrid controllers and electrical distribution equipment. The project integrates clean energy including solar photovoltaic canopies designed and built by SunPower, AB Energy USA onsite generation with a carbon neutral fuel transition strategy, Dynapower battery energy storage, charging and energy management software, ChargePilot from The Mobility House, and Heliox chargers.

Mortenson will provide construction services and Arup will serve as engineer of record. AlphaStruxure will operate the project via a cloud-connected Network Operations Center.

“This advanced infrastructure project drives forward several of our priorities—converting our fleets to electric, reducing harmful emissions, and ensuring safety and security—in alignment with our ambitious climate goals,” said Montgomery County executive, Marc Elrich. “I’m pleased that this project will also improve the County’s resilience, so we can continue providing transportation services even in the event of prolonged power outages.”

“The Smart Energy Bus Depot project provides a national model for local governments, transit agencies, and the private sector looking to electrify their fleets,” said Montgomery County Department of General Services director, David Dise.

“Rather than buying the microgrid and charging infrastructure outright, the County partnered with AlphaStruxure, who builds, owns, operates and maintains the system. The County then purchases the electricity and resilience supplied by the microgrid and charging infrastructure on an ongoing basis. This model delivers the supporting infrastructure required to electrify our bus fleet, customized to our specific needs, at no upfront cost while also enhancing resilience and environmental sustainability,” Dise said.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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