LADOT Installing Solar/Storage Microgrid, EV Charging to Power EV Buses


The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has been awarded a $6 million grant by the California Energy Commission to install one of the largest EV fleet charging systems in the U.S. that will be powered by a solar and storage microgrid.

“Los Angeles is on track to achieve a zero-emission future and our investments in clean transportation systems are driving that progress,” says Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The more electric vehicles we put on our streets today, the more we can lower emissions to ensure a healthier, more sustainable tomorrow.”

The solar and storage microgrid, paired with 104 EV chargers, will support LADOT’s adoption of electric buses as the agency transitions to a fully electric fleet by 2028. LADOT selected Proterra and Apparent to install the EV-charging microgrid at the agency’s Washington Bus Yard where it will manage EV charging and overall energy use for more than 100 electric buses. By delivering clean solar energy generated and storage capacity, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower LADOT’s electricity costs and also provide emergency back-up power that will enable the agency to continue to operate in an outage.

“Meeting our climate and sustainability goals requires persistent investment and urgent action,” states Seleta Reynolds, LADOT’s general manager. “This grant provides an essential support facility as we move closer to our goal of a fully electric fleet.”

LADOT will deploy 1.5 MW of rooftop and bus solar canopy paired with a 4.5 MWh energy storage system provided by Apparent at the Washington Bus Yard to help power five Proterra 1.5 MW fleet chargers with 104 remote EV charging dispensers. The microgrid will utilize Apparent’s intelligent grid operating system (igOS) platform to integrate Proterra Energy’s charging infrastructure with energy generation to coordinate how and when the electric buses are charged with energy generated from solar, or drawn from storage or the utility. At 7.5 MW of EV charging power, the project is one of the largest fleet charging installations in the U.S.

“Transit agencies and fleet operators need resilient, reliable charging solutions to help power the switch to electric fleets,” mentions Gareth Joyce, president of Proterra. “This innovative project is a model for how we can power commercial electric vehicle fleets and support a sustainable, clean transportation future with renewable energy solutions. We are excited to extend the benefits of our technology to help power Los Angeles’s transition to zero-emission, electric transit buses.”

“Managing an electric fleet’s charging and energy demand is essential to accomplishing a reliable and cost-effective transition to zero emission, electric transit,” adds George Salah, CEO of Apparent. “We are pleased to have been selected by LADOT to accomplish these goals and to partner with Proterra on this project.”

In 2019, the City of Los Angeles established the goal for LADOT to achieve a 100% electrified bus fleet by 2028. Earlier this year, Proterra delivered its 25th ZX5 battery-electric transit bus to support the agency’s transition to a fully electric fleet. LADOT currently operates 29 EV buses in its fleet with 30 additional buses expected to be in operation by Summer 2022.

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