AlphaStruxure to provide e-bus microgrid

Energy as a Service project aims to cut emissions in Montgomery County, Maryland
Air Quality & Weather Systems / May 24, 2021
By Ben Spencer
AlphaStruxure EaaS Ride On Montgomery County microgrid bus infrastructure
AlphaStruxure says the project integrates clean energy including solar photovoltaic canopies (image credit: AlphaStruxure)

Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions provider AlphaStruxure is to deploy an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project for Montgomery County, in the US state of Maryland

EaaS is a business model which allows customers to pay for an energy service without needing to make any upfront investment. 

The project will enable at least 44 buses in Ride On Montgomery County’s transit fleet to transition from diesel to electric, advancing the county’s goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035 and reducing lifetime emissions by more than 155,000 tonnes.

AlphaStruxure describes the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot as an integration of microgrid - a self-sufficient energy system capable of serving a neighbourhood, college campus or business centre - and EV charging infrastructure, delivering sustainability for the county’s public transportation system.

AlphaStruxure – a joint venture of Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund – will design, build, finance, own and operate the project.

The arrangement is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 62% with electric buses powered by the microgrid while also providing flexible fleet operations through the avoidance of utility demand charges and time-of-use tariffs. 

AlphaStruxure says the EaaS approach eliminates upfront cost to the county for the project, including all microgrid and charging infrastructure, and provides long-term cost predictability for energy supply.

The depot will utilise Schneider’s EcoStruxure platform, including its microgrid controllers and electrical distribution equipment. 

The project also includes solar photovoltaic canopies from SunPower, a carbon neutral fuel transition strategy from AB Energy USA, battery energy storage and charging management software from Dynapower and Heliox chargers

Mortenson will provide construction services and Arup will serve as engineer of record. 

AlphaStruxure is to operate the project via a cloud-connected network operations centre providing 24/7 operations, monitoring and optimisation of energy performance.

David Dise, Montgomery County department of general services director, says the project provides a national model for local governments, transit agencies, and the private sector looking to electrify their fleets.

"Rather than buying the microgrid and charging infrastructure outright, the county partnered with AlphaStruxure, who builds, owns, operates and maintains the system,” Dise continues. 

“The county then purchases the electricity and resilience supplied by the microgrid and charging infrastructure on an ongoing basis.”

“This model delivers the supporting infrastructure required to electrify our bus fleet, customised to our specific needs, at no upfront cost while also enhancing resilience and environmental sustainability,” he adds. 

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