Montgomery County Breaks Ground on Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot
Per Montgomery County:
For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Montgomery County broke ground today on the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot at 8710 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project. The project is being completed in partnership with AlphaStruxure, a leader in Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions. The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will be built and operational by mid-2022, servicing 44 new electric buses within the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Ride On fleet by 2023. This first of its kind project supports the sustainability and climate resilience goals of the County.
“The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot project falls in line with our ambitious climate action plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “This bus depot is one component of many County projects that is making a difference for our environment such as converting our fleets to electric and reducing harmful emissions. This infrastructure project will improve the County’s resilience and we are proud to be at the forefront amongst local governments when it comes to projects like this.”
“Today’s groundbreaking at the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot brings us closer to electrifying our bus fleets and reducing greenhouse emissions,” Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said. “This transition to a zero-emissions fleet is one step the County is taking away from dirty energy and toward meeting our ambitious climate goals.”
“These past few weeks alone, we have witnessed dangerous glimpses of how climate change can derail communities,” said Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz. “By installing the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot, this will help improve air quality and promote the County’s vision toward a sustainable and prosperous future.”
Montgomery County leveraged its progressive energy purchasing regulations to create a public-private partnership with AlphaStruxure, which was announced in May 2021. AlphaStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, will design, build, finance, own and operate the project, providing a holistic solution for large-scale fleet electrification. The microgrid and charging infrastructure will be delivered at no upfront cost to the County through an EaaS contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance for sustainability, resilience, and reliability.
“This is the third microgrid project undertaken by Montgomery County, but the one that will have the greatest impact on county residents,” said director of the Department of General Services David Dise. “Reducing the County’s dependence on fossil fuels is vital to our future. Equally vital is ensuring that public facilities are resilient to the unpredictable impacts of climate and infrastructure degradation. This project is a model of successfully addressing both challenges.
“MCDOT has committed to a zero-emissions fleet by 2035,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We’ve started the transition with the purchase of fourteen electric buses so far. The Brookville microgrid project will charge these and future buses allowing us to provide great service in an environmentally responsible way.”
The 5.6 MW microgrid includes distributed energy generation, energy storage and over 2 MW of charging capacity. AlphaStruxure will soon implement a strategy to transition the onsite gas generation to carbon neutral sources, allowing the microgrid to run on 100 percent renewable energy in alignment with the County’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035. Transitioning 44 buses from diesel to electric will reduce lifetime emissions by 62 percent, which is equivalent to 155,000 tons of greenhouse gases, and lower air pollution in the community.
“Decarbonizing the transportation sector is critical to mitigating climate change, making fleet electrification an utmost priority for local governments and transit agencies. But the transition to zero-emission fleets is not without its challenges,” said Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure. “With AlphaStruxure, fleet owners and operators have a trusted partner in realizing their electrification, sustainability and resilience goals with The Carlyle Group’s comprehensive financial capabilities and Schneider Electric’s leading distributed energy and digital automation technology.”
The project improves the County’s climate resilience, ensuring uninterrupted bus services during emergencies, even in the event of multi-day utility grid outages. The microgrid’s lithium-ion battery system will also participate in a Demand Response program with Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), which will support regional grid performance and optimization for greater energy resilience overall.
The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will ensure a ready supply of sustainable, resilient and cost-effective power for the County’s new electric bus fleet. By charging from its own power supply, the County will avoid utility demand charges and won’t have to set bus charging schedules around the utility’s time-of-use rates. The project ensures operational flexibility, providing the County with full control over dispatch and bus routing. The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot provides a national model for municipalities and private fleet owners to efficiently deploy the charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources that this transition requires.
AlphaStruxure delivers customized Energy as a Service solutions that transform sustainability, resilience and reliability into a strategic advantage. Serving energy-intensive private and public sector organizations, AlphaStruxure brings together technical, financial and contractual innovation to meet customers’ current and future energy needs without capital expenditure. AlphaStruxure’s mission is to be the trusted partner in energy transformation, combining Schneider Electric’s industry-leading smart energy management and automation technologies with The Carlyle Group’s comprehensive structuring and financing capabilities. For more information, visit www.AlphaStruxure.com
About the Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $246 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2020, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. The Carlyle Group employs 1,825 people in 29 offices across five continents. Further information is available at www.carlyle.com. Follow the Carlyle Group on Twitter @OneCarlyle.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On. Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, endpoint to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries. We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values. www.se.com.