Montgomery County, Md., took a big step toward its goal of converting all of its fleets to zero-carbon emissions by 2035 with the opening of the Brookville Smart Energy Depot on Oct. 31.
The depot in Silver Spring, Md., is the largest solar bus charging infrastructure project in the United States and will provide renewable energy to the Department of Regional Transportation’s (MCDOT) growing Ride On electric bus fleet.
“This project has received national attention because it is innovative, groundbreaking, and will help us achieve our ambitious climate plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. We lead by example by going zero-emissions. We are the third nationally to have solar charging stations on our buses, and the largest to date.”
The Brookville Smart Energy Depot includes solar panels mounted on tall canopies with charging stations, on-site battery storage, and backup generation. A 6.5 MW microgrid and electric bus infrastructure project will provide clean, renewable energy to power up to 70 electric buses by 2026 with enough storage capacity. The city currently has 14 electric buses and will purchase additional buses once a new contract for the purchase of up to 100 buses is finalized early next year. Federal funds were used to purchase the first four electric buses. The depot will meet the full charging capacity of the depot, 70 electric buses, by 2026.
The county says switching 70 buses from diesel to electric, powered by the site’s clean microgrid power, will reduce lifetime emissions by 62 percent, equating to more than 160,000 tons of greenhouse gas reductions over the years. – 25 coming.
“The Brookville Solar Project ensures uninterrupted bus services during any long-term power outages caused by bad weather, as well as any short-term grid service disruptions,” said Regional Council President Albornoz. “With global warming and our increased exposure to extreme weather events, building resilience is critical. Many of our residents rely on our public transportation system for essential transportation, and we help ensure its reliability. ”
The project is delivered collaboratively
The Brookville Smart Energy Depot was completed through a partnership between the Department of General Services (DGS) and AlphaStruxure. It is the third microgrid in the US that will use solar energy to charge public transport buses.
“This is Montgomery County’s third microgrid project, but one that will have a major impact on county residents,” said DGS Director David Dise. “Reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels is critical to our future. Equally important is ensuring public institutions are able to withstand the unpredictable impacts of climate and infrastructure degradation. This project is an example of successfully addressing both challenges, and we have done it through a partnership between the government and the private sector without upfront costs to taxpayers.
Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure, added the project “serves as a national example for municipalities and private boat owners throughout the city.”
The project also uses Mobility House’s charging and power management system, ChargePilot, to coordinate charging with the microgrid’s 4.14 MW charging capacity to ensure the vehicle’s roadworthiness the next day.
“The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a significant achievement not only for sustainable public transportation, but also for demonstrating the power of integrated technology to provide sustainable community benefits,” said Mobility House US CEO Gregor Hintler. “Managing EV charging within a microgrid is a technological breakthrough, and we are proud to offer our ChargePilot system as a link between renewable energy production and EV use.”
Arup also provided services for the project, including microgrid electrical design, site civil engineering for stormwater drainage and permitting, structural and geotechnical engineering to support on-site facilities, generator pipeline engineering, microgrid electrical studies, and coordination. useful, including links. agreements.
“Addressing transportation emissions is an important part of Montgomery County’s climate action,” said Arup Associate Sustainability Consultant Linda Toth. By opening this pioneering transportation center and microgrid, the city with AlphaStruxure is starting to make a real impact while showing the possibilities of the future for cities across America.