Electric school bus charging hub could provide ‘blueprint’ for grid support

By connecting the batteries of parked electric school buses to the grid, a first-of-its-kind electric school bus charging hub aims to provide enough backup power to support up to 10,000 homes.

Nuvve plans to build a hub with 200, fast-charging stations at Blue Bird Corporation’s delivery facility in Fort Valley, Georgia. When parked, multiple buses can serve as a virtual power plant to create capacity of up to 25 MW, the company said.

“This (vehicle-to-grid) hub will serve as a blueprint for large-scale school bus fleet deployments across the country,” said Gregory Poilasne, chairman and CEO of Nuvve. “In order to meet climate challenges, we must introduce electric vehicles to the grid in a smart, integrated way and our intelligent energy platform allows us to do that by transforming these vehicles into energy storage assets. We are grateful for electrification partners like Blue Bird who see the benefits V2G can provide to fleet owners and communities.”

Site development for the project is planned to begin before the end of the year.

The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school bus equipped with a Proterra Powered battery system on the streets of Beverly, MASS. Credit: Highland.

In October, Highland Electric Fleets announced a “historic breakthrough” that an electric school bus in Beverly, Massachusetts successfully delivered power back to the electricity grid. It represented the first time an electric school bus was leveraged as an energy resource by the regional utility National Grid in New England and among the first instances in the U.S.

The bus discharged three MWh of electricity to curb peak demand 30 times this summer, according to Highland, which provides the bus, chargers, and all electricity to Beverly Public Schools under a mileage-based subscription.

California, Maryland, and Florida lead the country in electric school bus adoption, though only 2% of American school districts have committed to one or more electric buses, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.