Two Calif school districts and a transit authority tap ENGIE for fleet electrification

school building
El Monte UHSD, just east of Los Angeles, turned to ENGIE North America to design and deploy an energy storage system to support its EV chargers that power its new electric bus fleet. (Image credit: El Monte UHSD)

ENGIE North America, through its various subsidiaries and affiliates, announced today new K-12 fleet and transit agency customers: El Monte Union High School District (UHSD), Grossmont Union HSD and Victor Valley Transit Authority.

Located near San Diego, Grossmont Union HSD is using ENGIE’s eMobility services to help plan the conversion of its fleet to zero emission vehicles, including developing eBus charging infrastructure requirements, analyzing the impact of adding solar and battery storage, and reviewing the district’s plans for its new transportation yard.

“Just planning for a transition to an electric fleet is a daunting task when you think of all the variables involved,” said Lindsey Danner, Energy Manager at Grossmont Union HSD. “ENGIE North America is helping us put a plan together we can afford – covering everything from bus infrastructure and technology to funding sources. They turned a challenge into a real opportunity for our district.”

ENGIE North America’s eMobility plan for the Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) in Hesperia, California, which is already complete, includes battery storage combined with solar to support the transit agency’s electric and hydrogen bus fleet. The battery storage now offsets the demand spikes caused by VVTA’s eBus chargers and natural gas compressors.

“The battery storage has reduced our demand charges by 40 percent,” said Ron Zirges, Director of Facilities & Maintenance. “And with ENGIE North America’s assistance, we successfully enrolled in the California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which has covered 50 percent of our storage costs.”

El Monte UHSD, just east of Los Angeles, turned to ENGIE North America to design and deploy an energy storage system to support its EV chargers that power its new electric bus fleet. Deployed at five sites, the battery storage has enabled a 35 percent reduction in demand charges. The project at its five high school sites and bus garage was partially funded by a portion of the $9.8 million CA Air Resources Board Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot grant. 

The Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. Overall, this project at El Monte UHSD directly benefits students and educational programs by reducing energy demand costs paid out of the General Fund.

“Zero-emission buses are the future of American public transportation,” said Stefaan Sercu, Chief Energy Solutions Officer, Americas at ENGIE. “In fact, soon, electrification will be one of the best options. That’s good news for communities, because ultimately it will significantly reduce both the cost and environmental impact of transportation.”

There are environmental and economic benefits to move to zero-emission buses, but the planning and implementation processes can be overwhelming for agency and district transportation leaders, says ENGIE North America, who’s turnkey solution includes:

  • All aspects of eMobility planning and design, covering vehicles, charging infrastructure, energy management, and on-site energy generation and storage; 
  • Total cost of ownership analysis and assistance in applying for grants and incentives; 
  • Financing, including purchase options, capital leasing, or fixed-cost transportation and charging-as-a-service; 
  • Sourcing of reliable, standards-compliant technologies; 
  • Project management, from planning through construction and installation to ongoing support; and 
  • Community engagement, such as academic collaborations and community outreach programs.
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Jennifer Runyon is a Content Director at Clarion Energy, writing, editing and posting content on POWERGRID International and planning conference sessions for DISTRIBUTECH's live and virtual events. She as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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