CPower, Highland Electric Turn Bus Fleet into Grid Resource


CPower Energy is partnering with Highland Electric Fleets to utilize electric school buses to provide grid services and increase reliability for grid operator PJM. CPower will work with Highland to enable demand response solutions, allowing Highland to reduce electrical loads using buses from Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to keep the grid in balance.

“We are thrilled to partner with Highland to leverage their [bus] depots as flexible and clean distributed energy resources to support the grid when called upon for reliability and to unlock an entirely new revenue stream,” says John Horton, CEO and president of CPower. “Our partnerships with EV fleet owners, charging operators, and local school districts across the country demonstrate that participation in grid services programs can substantially lower electrification costs, while supporting a local community’s resiliency and greening the grid.”

“Electric school buses will play a huge role in delivering healthier, more resilient communities around the U.S.,” states Duncan McIntyre, CEO of Highland Electric Fleets. “Electric school buses will also play active roles supporting local electric grids and wholesale energy markets. Partnering with CPower enables demand flexibility, which means that MCPS – and eventually school districts nationwide – can support both grid resiliency and decarbonization.”

Because school buses run on a consistent daily schedule, electric buses such as those at MCPS are ideal resources to provide grid resiliency services. CPower will manage the flow of electricity to the charging stations to reduce demand on the grid when needed.

PJM recently updated market rules to allow for EV charging assets to participate in its capacity and ancillary services markets but does not yet allow bi-directional charging assets to participate, which would optimize environmental benefits by allowing the EVSB batteries to export additional clean energy capacity to the grid. CPower hopes that with FERC Order 2222 and other policy advancements, they will be able to unleash even greater value from these assets in the future.

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