An ambitious school bus pilot program could ease the summertime burden on regional energy grids (students not included).
Suffolk Transportation Service – a Bay Shore-based bus operator boasting a fleet of 1,400 school buses, 80 transit buses and 143 paratransit buses – has submitted a proposal to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority that would see electric-powered school buses not only replace traditional gas-guzzlers during the school year, but feed low-cost electricity back into the regional grid during the summer, when temperatures rise and energy demand peaks.
The secret sauce: three electric-motor Blue Bird Corp. school buses, each equipped with state-of-the-art inverters that allow stored electricity to be fed back into the power grid.
The buses, which would otherwise take summers off, can be charged at night, when demand eases and rates recede – and the power can be fed back to the grid during the day, covering peak demands and otherwise promoting sustainability.
That’s the gist of the “vehicle-to-grid” plan submitted to NYSERDA on Suffolk Transportation Service’s behalf by Edgewise Energy, the Plainview-based middleman between energy utilities and end-using customers.