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VEIC Explores Potential to Integrate Electric School Buses with the Grid

Mar 18, 2015

VEIC’s Transportation Efficiency team is conducting an analysis exploring the use of electric school buses for more than just emission-free transportation. The main concept is that outside of regular morning and afternoon operating hours, an electric school bus could serve as a grid resource. This idea builds off of a report completed by VEIC last year examining the potential system-wide benefits of using electric vehicles to store energy and discharge it to the grid.

In addition to using buses to manage mid-day demand and supply on the electric grid, VEIC’s transportation team is also exploring how electric school buses could operate as a standalone power source. If equipped with bidirectional charging capabilities, their large batteries could work as part of a microgrid and provide electricity during emergency situations. School buses are particularly well suited for this as schools often serve as emergency shelters

Karen Glitman, Director of Transportation Efficiency at VEIC, spoke with Microgrid Knowledge about this innovative research project last week, stating this is really about integrating the whole system. We’re thinking about renewables as a big play in this space because renewables need storage, and that’s what EVs can help provide. So it’s renewables, it’s microgirds, it’s the integration of mobile storage into a total energy system.

Learn more about VEIC’s work in transportation efficiency.

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