Nuvve Holding Corp., Blue Bird Corp. and the Ramona Unified School District in California’s San Diego County have unveiled eight electric, zero-emission school buses powered by DC fast chargers supplied by Nuvve and enabled with Nuvve’s GIVe vehicle-to-grid (V2G) energy aggregation platform.
The parties have completed commissioning and interconnection activities with the local electrical infrastructure provided by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). As a result, the vehicles are qualified to generate revenues for the school district through SDG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) by selling energy stored in the vehicles’ batteries back to the grid during times of high grid stress or emergencies as determined by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).
This particular program in the Ramona Unified School District represents Blue Bird’s largest commercial V2G project for a school district to date. By participating in the ELRP, SDG&E customers such as the Ramona district can receive $2 per kWh, which equates to a potential savings of up to $7,200 per bus per year, for verified export and load reduction.
The availability of grants, along with the Biden-Harris administration’s recent announcement of the nearly $1 billion Clean School Bus Rebate program, are facilitating the transition to zero-emission fleets for districts like Ramona.
“The introduction of electric school buses helps put Ramona on the map by showing that even small communities are playing important roles in the creation of a safer, cleaner future for our children and the planet,” says Rena Seifts, assistant superintendent of Ramona Unified School District. “The data speaks for itself: if we don’t reduce our dependence on fossil fuels sooner than later, the younger generations here in Ramona and beyond will be stuck paying a hefty price.”
Since ESBs run on electricity only, they produce zero harmful carbon emissions and particulate matter that’s typically emitted by traditional, combustion-fueled buses. In addition, ESBs can produce valuable grid service revenue streams that benefit school districts any time the buses are parked and plugged in through Nuvve’s V2G technology.
“When a V2G interconnection occurs, the bus, charger and grid are essentially talking to each other,” states Gregory Poilasne, founder and CEO of Nuvve. “This communication through our GIVe platform is essential: it monitors the amount of energy being sent to the grid, while ensuring there’s enough energy necessary for drivers to complete their routes the next day.”
“Electric school buses are a perfect match for V2G technology because of their large onboard batteries,” comments Jeni Reynolds, SDG&E’s clean transportation director. “These zero-emissions vehicles not only help improve air quality, they can also help meet our community’s energy needs by putting electricity back on the grid when parked.”
“Introducing Blue Bird zero-emission electric school buses into Ramona means that the school district puts student and community health first,” adds Albert Burleigh, executive director of EV business development for Blue Bird Corp. “We’re happy to see how Ramona is utilizing grant funding to transition to clean, next-generation student transportation. With literally millions of dollars in grant funding currently available, it’s vital for other districts to look into ways they can electrify their fleets today.”