VIRGINIA, USA — Dominion Energy Virginia announced plans on Thursday for the nation's largest electric school bus deployment.
The goal is to reduce emissions, provide cost savings to school districts, and enhance grid reliability.
In the coming weeks, bus manufacturers will be able to submit bids through an RFP process and school districts can express their interest in participating in this groundbreaking program to receive the buses as soon as next year.
"We're committed to lowering our carbon emissions, but we can't do it alone. Transportation is the number one source of carbon emissions in the US, and by partnering with this industry, we can expedite the development of innovative, cleaner, more sustainable solutions," said Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II. "We think that electric school buses will provide a wide range of benefits for the customers and communities we serve, including cleaner air, cost savings for school districts, and enhanced grid reliability."
Dominion Energy said the first phase of the school bus deployment aims to have 50 buses fully operational within the company's Virginia service area by the end of 2020.
That's all without any change in price for customers.
Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring 1,000 electric school buses online by 2025. Once phase two is fully implemented, the buses' batteries could provide enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.
Phase three would set the goal to have 50 percent of all diesel bus replacements be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.
Electric school buses will have a positive impact on the environment and improve air quality. An electric school bus produces zero emissions. Taking one diesel-powered bus off the road is equivalent of taking 5.2 cars off the road.
If fully implemented, by 2025, the program would be the equivalent of removing more than 5,000 cars from the road per year.
A tele-town hall meeting will be conducted on September 4, 2019, to provide school districts more information about the program.
Click here to learn more about the project.