The 6.5 MW microgrid includes bus-height solar canopies, renewable natural gas-ready on-site...

The 6.5 MW microgrid includes bus-height solar canopies, renewable natural gas-ready on-site generation, battery energy storage, and over 4.14 MW of charging capacity.

Photo: AlphaStruxure

AlphaStruxure and Montgomery County, Maryland (County) officials celebrated the launch of the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot microgrid, an integrated electric bus charging infrastructure project in Silver Spring, Md., according to the company's news release.

Leaders from AlphaStruxure were joined by county leadership, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Transportation Polly Trottenberg, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation at the Department of Energy Michael Berube for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and “first plug-in” of a County electric bus.

AphaStruxure led this project, providing the County with a partner in realizing its electrification, sustainability, and resilience goals with Carlyle’s financial capabilities and Schneider Electric's microgrid technology, software, and services.

This is the first microgrid to power electric buses in the Washington region, according to AlphaStruxure.

The 6.5 MW microgrid includes bus-height solar canopies, renewable natural gas-ready on-site generation, battery energy storage, and over 4.14 MW of charging capacity.

AlphaStruxure added that this project is delivered at no upfront cost to the County through an EaaS contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance without upfront capital expenditures.

“The transportation infrastructure of tomorrow is up and running today in Montgomery County,” said Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure. “We are thrilled to partner with Montgomery County on this holistic solution that delivers improved, cleaner services to county constituents. This benchmark project serves as a national model for municipalities and private fleet owners across the county to efficiently deploy the charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources that the energy transition requires, accelerating the electrification of medium and heavy-duty vehicle fleets. Thanks to a turnkey Energy as a Service approach, we’ve delivered an integrated bus fleet solution with a resilient energy supply and without upfront costs or financial risks for the county.”

The microgrid will provide power to the County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Ride On transit electric buses and in the long-term will run on 100% renewable energy in alignment with the County’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035.

“This project has been garnering attention around our nation and throughout the world because it is innovative, groundbreaking, and will help us achieve our ambitious climate action plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035,” said Marc Elrich, county executive. “We should be able to fill this bus depot with 70 electric buses by 2026. We’re well on our way to our goal of an emissions-free fleet by 2035 and improving the county's resilience.”  

By 2026, the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will be home to 70 electric transit buses. Transitioning these 70 buses from diesel to electric, powered by the on-site clean energy microgrid, will reduce lifetime emissions by 62% equivalent to more than 160,000 tons of greenhouse gas reduction over the next 25 years.

The event marked the completion of the project’s first phase.

The next phase includes adding additional charging capacity and two additional renewable natural gas-ready gensets.

The microgrid’s performance is managed by the AlphaStruxure Integrate digital platform.

The microgrid’s battery energy storage system will also participate in a Demand Response program with Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco).

AlphaStruxure’s partners on this project include Arup which provided engineering support; M.A. Mortenson Company which led construction; SunPower which provided the photovoltaic solar panel system; AB Energy which provided the gensets, Dynapower which provided the battery energy storage system, Heliox which provided the charging infrastructure; The Mobility House which provided the charging management system, and AZZO provided the network and communications system. 

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