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This solar + microgrid storage depot can charge 70 electric buses

Montgomery County, Maryland, is on a roll. Earlier this month, it deployed the single largest electric school bus fleet – 86 – in the US. Now 70 of the county’s electric buses will be powered at a solar-powered, microgrid energy storage depot in Brookville.

The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot uses an integrated system of solar, microgrid energy storage and electric charging stations that will power 70 electric buses – half of Brookville’s bus fleet – with 4.14 megawatts of charging capacity.

Transitioning the 70 buses at the depot from diesel to electric, powered by the on-site clean energy microgrid, will reduce lifetime emissions by 62%, which is equivalent to more than 160,000 tons of greenhouse gases over the next 25 years.

Dynapower, an energy storage and power conversion company based in South Burlington, Vermont, supplied a 3 MW/4.3 Mwh CPS-i Integrated Energy Storage System, and that provides the microgrid battery energy storage for the bus depot. It stores power to charge the buses and enables 100% operational capacity if there’s a grid outage.

AlphaStruxure, an Energy as a Service (EaaS) provider that designs, builds, owns, operates, and maintains tailored energy infrastructure, also worked on the Brookville microgrid.

The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will participate in a demand response program with Potomac Electric Power Company, which supports regional grid performance and optimization for local residents and businesses.

The state of Maryland is working toward a 50% zero-emission bus fleet by 2030. Further, Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 requires all new school bus purchases and contracts to be electric by 2025.

Photo: Dynapower

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.