Electric School Bus Pilot Proposal Would Benefit Maryland’s Climate Agenda


FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary Potomac Edison has submitted a five-year Electric School Bus Pilot Program proposal to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) intended to help the state reach its climate goals. The pilot supports Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which requires any new school buses contracted or purchased by public school systems in the state to produce zero emissions.

“We believe the data collected during the pilot will allow us to better understand how we can help meet our school districts’ evolving transportation and electrification needs and ultimately help the districts save money in the long run,” says Don McGettigan, acting president of FirstEnergy’s Maryland operations. “Our pilot program is also intended to help the state meet climate goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which will create cleaner air and improve overall health in local communities we serve.”

To aid in the electric school bus (ESB) transition across Potomac Edison’s Maryland service territory, the company will provide:

  • Financial incentives for school districts to acquire and deploy ESBs.
  • Reimbursements for EV charging infrastructure and IT-related costs associated with the transition to ESBs.
  • Assessments of grid capacity and other technical and administrative support.
  • Connection to the Potomac Edison electric grid including coverage of all related costs.

The public school districts that opt to participate in the pilot program will receive funding that reduces the cost difference between an ESB and an equivalent diesel-fueled bus. The electric buses will also be equipped with lap and shoulder belts for students to comply with a new state safety law.

“Approval of the initiative by the PSC also will enable us to explore opportunities to use the stored energy in electric school bus batteries to address electricity needs during grid emergencies, potentially yielding positive outcomes for all our customers in the future,” adds McGettigan.

The pilot follows the PSC’s consent to extend Potomac Edison’s electric vehicle program EV Driven, originally approved in 2019, to help make EV ownership and charging easier and more accessible throughout Maryland. Learn more about this program at evdrivenpe.com.

Potomac Edison serves about 285,000 customers in all or parts of Maryland’s Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery and Washington counties.

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