For Immediate Release - May 11, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Electric School Bus Grants to Four Schools

Clean Vehicle Pilot Will Test Electric Drive Buses and Vehicle-to-Grid Technology

BOSTON – May 11, 2016 The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded four grants for the purchase of electric school buses and chargers to Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, Amherst Public Schools, Cambridge Public Schools and Concord Public Schools. The grants were awarded through the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) new Vehicle-to-Grid Electric School Bus pilot program, which aims to reduce schools’ petroleum use and test the benefits of electric school bus technology.

“Massachusetts schools are leading the way by testing clean and resilient energy technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This innovative project will also reduce fuel costs and aid our commitment to a cleaner future for the Commonwealth.”

“This pilot can drive home the opportunities for cities, towns, public authorities and businesses to clean up their vehicle emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum use by aiding the transition to cleaner, more efficient vehicles.”

“These electric school buses will reduce the use of petroleum fuel and create momentum for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in school districts across the state,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “With this pilot project, Massachusetts continues its leadership in advancing clean energy technology and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Vehicle-to-Grid Electric School Bus pilot will be one of the first demonstrations of electric school bus technology on the East Coast of the United States. The pilot is intended to demonstrate that electric drive technology can help reduce emissions in the transportation sector that has traditionally been dependent on petroleum fuel and demonstrate how school buses can provide electric storage for the grid.

The pilot project will be administered by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and it will consider the costs and benefits of operating electric school buses to determine if this is a technology that should be more widely adopted. The goal is to reduce petroleum usage by approximately 22,680 gallons of gasoline equivalent.

“Not only will this pilot help Massachusetts transition to increased electric vehicles, but it will also demonstrate the opportunity to transport our children in clean vehicles, which will reduce costs and is better for our environment,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson. “These school buses will also make these four schools more resilient by providing backup power from the bus battery.”

The following school districts received grants:

Awardee Project Type Grant Amount
Acton-Boxborough Regional School District Electric type C bus and charger Up To $350,000
Amherst Public Schools Electric type C bus and charger Up To $350,000
Cambridge Public Schools Electric type C bus and charger Up To $350,000
Concord Public Schools Electric type C bus and charger Up To $350,000

“With the potential to both minimize carbon emissions and reduce electric costs, the new Vehicle-to-Grid Electric School Bus pilot program could prove to be a beneficial tool for our local school districts,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Congratulations to Amherst Public Schools and the other school districts awarded for pioneering the use of this innovative technology.”

“Pollution from cars and trucks is the biggest cause of global warming in Massachusetts,” said State Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington). “Clean electric vehicles can really help, but sales are not where they need to be. It’s terrific to see the Concord Public Schools move out front. The bus will not only minimize emissions; it will bring home the point that action in our own backyard is key to addressing the most urgent problems in the world.”

“We’re very excited about this pilot program, and I’m delighted because my towns have always been leaders in alternative, sustainable, energy solutions,” said State Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord). “With programs like this one, we can teach environmental responsibility beyond the classroom and model it for our students and communities.”

“The new Vehicle-to Grid Electric School Bus program is absolutely wonderful. I am thrilled that Amherst was selected to participate” said State Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst). “With our longtime commitment to reducing school bus emissions, Amherst will be a good test site for this pilot.”

The Baker-Polito Administration is reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector in a variety of ways. The administration provides electric passenger vehicle rebates through DOER’s MOR-EV program, incentives for public entities to purchase electric vehicles, and grants to help build a public and private electric vehicle charging infrastructure through the MassEVIP program. In December, Governor Baker joined nine states and regions in endorsing the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (Under2MOU) as part of the administration’s commitment to addressing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants contributing to climate change. In addition, Massachusetts is part of the International Zero Emissions Vehicle Alliance.

 

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Led by Commissioner Judith Judson, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future. To that end, DOER strives to ensure deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency, maximize development of clean energy resources, create and implement energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve the cost of clean energy relative to fossil-fuel based generation and support Massachusetts' clean energy companies and spur Massachusetts' clean energy employment. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).


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