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Dominion Energy proposes electric school bus initiative

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Energy Global,

Dominion Energy Virginia, US, announced plans for electric school bus deployment to reduce emissions, provide cost savings to school districts and enhance grid reliability.

Bus manufacturers will be able to submit bids through an request for proposal process and school districts can express their interest in participating in this groundbreaking program to receive the buses as soon as 2021.

The initial phase of the electric school bus deployment aims to have 50 buses fully operational within Dominion Energy's Virginia service territory by the end of 2020. Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring 1000 electric school buses online by 2025. Phase three would set the goal to have 50% of all diesel bus replacements be electric by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

Replacing diesel-powered school buses with electric school buses will have a positive impact on the environment and improve air quality. An electric school bus produces zero emissions. If fully implemented, by 2025, the program would be the equivalent of removing more than 5000 cars from the road per year, therefore lowering CO2 emmissions.

Under the program, Dominion Energy will offset the additional costs of an electric school bus, including charging infrastructure, above the standard cost for a diesel bus. Operational and maintenance costs are also lower with electric school buses, providing a potential reduction of 60% per year for localities.

The electric school buses will also serve as a grid resource by creating additional energy storage technology to support the company's integration of distributed renewables such as solar and wind. The 'vehicle-to-grid' technology leverages the bus batteries to store and inject energy onto the grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not needed for transport.

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