Durango School District Deploys Colorado’s First Vehicle-Grid Compatible Bus

Yesterday, Durango School District 9-R and La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) launched the region’s first electric school bus – and Colorado’s first V2G (vehicle-network) compatible school bus. In February 2021, District 9-R received a grant of $ 328,803 under the ALT Fuels Colorado program from the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC). Increased by $ 120,000 from the LPEA to cover electric recharging infrastructures, the project is revolutionary.

“This is a truly forward thinking project, not just for this region but for the entire state,” said Jessica Matlock, CEO of LPEA. “V2G installations are the future because they allow our network to operate with greater flexibility. This technology will provide significant savings by allowing LPEA to avoid the purchase of expensive electricity during peak periods while aligning the bus load with periods of less expensive renewable production. “

The bus will serve the area south of Durango, supporting students attending Escalante, Florida Mesa and Sunnyside. It will cover approximately 75 miles per day on a standard route, but will be loaded enough to cover 150-200 miles if necessary. When empty, the bus takes three to four hours to fully recharge its 155 kWh battery.

As the first V2G installation in Colorado, the bus will use the V2G platform of Nuvve Holding Corp. (Nuvve) to pull electricity from the grid to charge and store energy during inexpensive off-peak hours. It will also allow LPEA to draw electricity from the vehicle to the grid when demand is at its peak. This technology turns the bus into an energy storage asset that provides flexibility and can help reduce costs for LPEA members.

Electric school buses have large batteries and are parked for most of the day, making them an ideal use case for V2G technology. When fully charged, the bus stores enough electricity to power 30 average single-family homes, or 100 energy efficient homes, for a few hours.

“The LPEA sets an example for other co-ops in the state of Colorado with their commitment to providing new solutions that benefit their members and their communities,” said Gregory Poilasne, President and CEO of Nuvve. “We have enjoyed working closely with LPEA to present our V2G solution in Durango, the first of its kind in Colorado, and look forward to a long partnership with them. “

For Durango School District 9-R, using an electric bus will save on ever-increasing fuel costs. The district could save about $ 5,000 per year based on last year’s fuel prices. The electric bus will also reduce emissions.

The district has upgraded its diesel buses to reduce emissions, but the electric bus produces zero emissions.

“I am very excited to have the electric bus added to the fleet,” said Daniel Blythe, director of transportation for Durango School District 9-R. “We are grateful for the partnership with LPEA on this project and the grant we received to bring this new technology to our region and continue to reduce our carbon footprint. ”

Hillary Knox

Hillary Knox is Vice President of Communications at La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA)

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