Electric school buses will soon be on Virginia roads!

Posted at 2:10 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 14:10:32-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Electric school buses will soon be on the roads in Virginia! This is Dominion Energy’s largest electric school bus deployment in the nation.

Phase one will bring 50 electric school buses to 16 localities within Dominion Energy’s Virginia service area by the end of 2020. In December, the company selected Thomas Built Buses as the vendor for the 50 buses for phase one of the project.

This initial deployment will bring electric school buses to each of the company’s operating regions. Localities were selected based on the benefit the batteries would bring to the electric grid. School divisions selected for phase one of the program include:

  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Charles City
  • Chesapeake
  • Chesterfield
  • Fairfax
  • Hampton
  • Louisa
  • Middlesex
  • Norfolk
  • Pittsylvania
  • Powhatan
  • Prince William
  • Richmond City
  • Virginia Beach
  • Waynesboro

The electric school buses will serve as a grid resource by creating additional energy storage technology to support the company’s integration of distributed renewables such as solar and wind.

The “vehicle-to-grid” technology leverages the bus batteries to store and inject energy onto the grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not needed for transport. The buses also provide environmental and health benefits through reduced emissions and reduce operation and maintenance costs for schools by up to 60 percent.

“We are excited to move forward with our commitment to bringing the benefits of electric school buses to the customers and communities we serve,” said Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II.  “This is an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children’s health, make the electric grid stronger, and free up money for our schools.”

Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring at least 1,000 additional 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 in Dominion Energy’s footprint be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.