Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

First use of electric school buses to stabilize entire wholesale energy markets

Clean Transport

Electric School Buses Used To Support Maryland Energy Grid

Saying it again, for the people in the back: EVs make the grid STRONGER!

We already know that a widespread adoption of electric vehicles with V2G technology can help, rather than hurt the nation’s energy grids – but the Montgomery County Public School district in Maryland has taken the idea from theory into practice by using its electric school bus fleet to provide synchronized power reserves and support the PJM electric grid.

Together with Voltus, a leading developer of distributed energy resource (DER) software, our friends at Highland Electric announced a partnership to enhance grid reliability to the PJM wholesale electricity market using the energy stored in the Montgomery County Public School District’s (MCPS) electric school bus fleet when the buses were idle.

“By connecting Highland’s customers to electricity markets that value them, Voltus is unlocking the power of electric vehicle fleets,” explains Dana Guernsey, Voltus’ Chief Product Officer. “Transitioning the entire US school bus fleet from diesel to electric will represent about 29 GW of new electric demand across 480,000 buses [and] we’re thrilled to demonstrate the value that electric school buses can provide to support grid reliability.”

The Highland Electric team, too, is eager to show off the ways their electric school buses can help support local energy grids. “School districts like MCPS are leading the way in fleet electrification, delivering not only healthier transportation for students but also providing support for local and regional electric grid reliability. Partnering with Voltus allows us to offer another value stream to school districts, further lowering the cost of upgrading to electric and also supporting increased renewable energy penetration by making the bus batteries available to utilities and wholesale electricity markets when they’re not being used to transport students,” said Ben Schutzman, vice president of fleet operations at Highland. “Together with Voltus, we are strengthening the economic and environmental use case for school districts to go electric.”

The MCPS is the second district to put a program like this into practice, and it’s believed to be the first to do so on its own.

I had a chance to talk with Highland Electric founder, Duncan McIntyre, about what Highland’s all about, how it helps municipalities stabilize their costs, and switch to electric school buses quickly, and more affordably than before. You can check out that conversation, below, then let us know what you think of MCPS showing the rest of the grid how it’s done in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

CleanTech Talk: Highland Electric & Electrifying School Bus Fleets


You can also find episodes CleanTech Talk on AnchorApple Podcasts + iTunesBreakerGoogle PodcastsOvercastPocketPodbeanRadio PublicSoundCloudSpotify, or Stitcher.


Source: Highland Electric.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


You May Also Like

Clean Transport

I recently sat down with Brian Menell, CEO and Chairman of TechMet, to talk EV battery mineral mining, investment in this fast-changing market, and...

Clean Transport

Every school bus fleet should be electric. The harm done to children’s lungs, hearts, and brains by polluting fossil-fueled school buses is enormous, and...


I recently interviewed Aaron Smith, CEO of the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA), about his new Ford F-150 Lightning and also his Ford...

Clean Transport

School bus electrification has been gaining steam all across the United States. School districts are leaving traditional diesel buses for cleaner and more efficient...

Copyright © 2022 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.