CPower to turn school fleet grid-ready

  • November 16, 2022
  • William Payne

The largest fleet of electric school buses in the United States is to be turned into a grid-ready resource. CPower is working with Highland Electric Fleets, which operates the United States’ largest fleet of EV school buses in Maryland’s Montgomery County, to turn Highland’s fleet into a resource for PJM, the largest grid operator in the US.

The two companies are collaborating to enable demand response solutions, allowing Highland to reduce electrical loads using EVSBs from Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to keep the grid in balance.

CPower will manage the flow of electricity to the EVSB charging stations to reduce demand on the grid when needed. PJM recently updated market rules to allow for EV charging assets to participate in its capacity and ancillary services markets, but does not yet allow bi-directional charging assets to participate, which would optimise environmental benefits by allowing the EVSB batteries to export additional clean energy capacity to the grid. CPower hopes that with FERC Order 2222 and other policy advancements, they will be able to unleash even greater value from these assets in the future.

“We are thrilled to partner with Highland to leverage their EVSB depots as flexible and clean distributed energy resources to support the grid when called upon for reliability and to unlock an entirely new revenue stream,” said John Horton, CEO and President, CPower. “Our partnerships with EV fleet owners, charging operators, and local school districts across the country demonstrate that participation in grid services programmes can substantially lower electrification costs, while supporting a local community’s resiliency and greening the grid.”

“Electric school buses will play a huge role in delivering healthier, more resilient communities around the U.S.,” said Duncan McIntyre, CEO, Highland Electric Fleets. “Electric school buses will also play active roles supporting local electric grids and wholesale energy markets. Partnering with CPower enables demand flexibility, which means that MCPS — and eventually school districts nationwide — can support both grid resiliency and decarbonisation.”