Marc Elrich Announces Agreement That Will Enable County to Transition More Than 40 Buses from Diesel to Electric Power
Per Montgomery County:
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced an agreement with AlphaStruxure, a leader in Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions, to deploy an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project at the Brookville Bus Depot, 8710 Brookville Rd, in Silver Spring. The project will enable at least 44 buses in the Ride On Montgomery County’s transit fleet to transition from diesel to electric power. This event, advancing the County’s goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, reducing lifetime emissions by over 155,000 tons, while delivering resilience to climate events and power outages.
“This advanced infrastructure project drives forward several of our priorities—converting our fleets to electric, reducing harmful emissions, and ensuring safety and security—in alignment with our ambitious climate goals,” said County Executive Elrich. “I’m pleased that this project will also improve the County’s resilience, so we can continue providing transportation services even in the event of prolonged power outages.”
The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a first-of-its-kind integration of microgrid and EV charging infrastructure, delivering sustainability, reliability and resilience 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 to enable Ride On’s growing electric bus fleet. The project is scheduled to be completed in late spring 2022 and is designed to deliver the following benefits and outcomes:
Bus Electrification: Enabling the County’s transition from fossil fuel buses to electric buses with a customized energy and infrastructure solution
Environmental Sustainability: 62 percent carbon emissions reduction with electric buses powered by the microgrid and lifetime greenhouse gas benefit of over 155,000 tons
Climate Resilience and Operational Reliability: Ensures uninterrupted bus services during any long-term power outages caused by severe weather as well as any short-term disturbances or perturbations of the utility grid
Flexible Fleet Operations: Avoidance of utility demand charges and time-of-use tariffs provides fleet operations with ultimate dispatch flexibility
Financial Benefits: Energy as a Service 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
Economic Development: Creates more than 50 construction jobs
“Electrifying our bus fleets is a necessary step in reducing carbon emissions, which is why the microgrid and electrification project brings us one step closer to meeting our ambitious climate goals,” County Council President Tom Hucker said. “This project can show a sustainable path for other counties and cities to follow Montgomery County’s lead in transitioning away from dirty energy and moving toward electrification.”
The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will utilize Schneider Electric’s industry-leading EcoStruxure™ platform, including its top-ranked microgrid controllers and electrical distribution equipment. Leveraging strong relationships with industry-leading partners, the project integrates clean energy including solar photovoltaic canopies designed and built by SunPower, AB Energy USA onsite generation with a carbon neutral fuel transition strategy, Dynapower battery energy storage, charging and energy management software, ChargePilot from The Mobility House, and Heliox chargers. Mortenson will provide construction services and Arup will serve as engineer of record. AlphaStruxure will operate the project via a cloud-connected Network Operations Center providing 24/7/365 operations, monitoring and optimization of energy performance.
“The Smart Energy Bus Depot project provides a national model for local governments, transit agencies, and the private sector looking to electrify their fleets,” said Montgomery County Department of General Services Director David Dise. “Rather than buying the microgrid and charging infrastructure outright, the County partnered with AlphaStruxure, who builds, owns, operates and maintains the system. 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, customized to our specific needs, at no upfront cost while also enhancing resilience and environmental sustainability.”
“We at AlphaStruxure applaud Montgomery County’s continued leadership in sustainability, resilience, and electrification. With transportation now the largest source of U.S. carbon emissions, we believe electrifying vehicle fleets is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. However, the availability of sustainable and resilient electricity often poses a major barrier to organizations seeking to migrate fleets off of fossil fuels,” said Juan Macias, CEO, AlphaStruxure. “AlphaStruxure serves as the comprehensive partner for fleet electrification. We’re taking the capital cost, complexity and risk out of electrification for Montgomery County through a powerful integration of technical, financial and contractual solutions.”
“We believe we have the tools to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels, but organizations are struggling to navigate their options for energy infrastructure improvements,” said Pooja Goyal, co-head of the Infrastructure Group at The Carlyle Group and AlphaStruxure board member. “Carlyle and Schneider created AlphaStruxure to address these challenges with an Energy as a Service offering that we believe is truly unique to the market. We are working alongside our customers and providing a comprehensive solution encompassing technology, ongoing servicing as well as financing. The Montgomery County project illuminates a new pathway to pursue fleet electrification, but it’s only scratching the surface of the outcomes and goals we believe AlphaStruxure can help customers achieve.”
AlphaStruxure is a joint venture between the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund and Schneider Electric. Beyond microgrid fleet electrification projects, AlphaStruxure partners with energy-intensive and energy-sensitive clients spanning commercial, industrial, government, and critical infrastructure sectors to deliver custom EaaS solutions. Delivering specified outcomes for sustainability, resilience, reliability, and cost-predictability, AlphaStruxure’s EaaS microgrid solutions often integrate additional energy-related technologies including electrical and mechanical upgrades, electrification technologies, charging infrastructure and other advanced systems.
“AlphaStruxure’s microgrid and electrification project and our continued partnership with Montgomery County are more proof points of Schneider Electric’s leadership as the world’s most sustainable company,” said Annette Clayton, CEO & president, Schneider Electric North America and AlphaStruxure board member. “With our innovative Energy as a Service approach we are delivering the triple-bottom-line results for our customers: resilience, cost predictability, and sustainability.”