Montgomery County’s Microgrid Electric Bus Depot Under Construction

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Construction of a 5.6 MW microgrid with distributed energy generation, energy storage and over 2 MW of charging capacity is now underway at the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot in Montgomery County, Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C., after groundbreaking on Sept. 9.

bus depot microgrid

Schneider Electric affiliate AlphaStruxure has begun construction on a microgrid for a bus depot in Montgomery County, Maryland. Photo courtesy of AlphaStruxure

AlphaStruxure, a joint venture between Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Group, designed, and will build and deliver, the project for the county, using an energy-as-a-service model that doesn’t require the county to make upfront payments. 

AlphaStruxure will implement a strategy to transition the on-site gas generation to carbon-neutral sources after operation begins, allowing the microgrid to run on 100% renewable energy in alignment with the county’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035. 

“The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot project falls in line with our ambitious climate action plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035,” said Marc Elrich, county executive. “This bus depot is one component of many county projects that is making a difference for our environment such as converting our fleets to electric and reducing harmful emissions. This infrastructure project will improve the county’s resilience, and we are proud to be at the forefront amongst local governments when it comes to projects like this.”

Montgomery County is committed to sustainability, leadership and improving resilience to climate change after experiencing extreme weather events and extended power outages in the recent past. Statewide, Maryland is working toward a 50% zero-emission bus fleet by 2030. 

“Decarbonizing the transportation sector is critical to mitigating climate change, making fleet electrification a priority for local governments and transit agencies. The transition to zero-emission fleets is not without its challenges,” said Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure. “With AlphaStruxure, fleet owners and operators have a trusted partner in realizing their electrification, sustainability and resilience goals with the Carlyle Group’s comprehensive financial capabilities and Schneider Electric’s leading distributed energy and digital automation technology.”

SunPower will design and build the project’s solar photovoltaic canopies. Other vendors include AB Energy USA, Dynapower, ChargePilot, Heliox and Mortenson. Arup will serve as engineer of record. AlphaStruxure will operate the project via a cloud-connected network operations center providing 24/7/365 operations, monitoring and optimization of energy performance.

The project should be complete by mid-2022, with 44 buses transitioning from diesel to electric, and powered by on-site clean energy. The Ride On Montgomery County’s microgrid is expected to reduce lifetime emissions by 62%, equivalent to the reduction of 155,000 tons of greenhouse gases.

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