- All-Electric busses provide emissions-free transportation for South Burlington students
- V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) charging through GMP allows energy sharing from bus batteries
- V2G energy sharing cuts costs and carbon for all GMP customers
- Partnership with Highland made school District’s switch to EV Buses easy
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – South Burlington Schools, Highland, and Green Mountain Power (GMP) celebrated one-year of successful clean electric bus transportation for students across the district at the local High School where state and city leaders marked the occasion with the community and with a free ride along on the electric buses.
“As students, we are looking for creative ideas that will make an impact on our generation and those to come,“ said South Burlington High School Senior Rama AL Namee. “The district’s use of e-buses is a necessary step in fulfilling our developing Climate Action Plan and ensuring we continue to minimize our footprint within the community.”
The district’s four electric busses completed more than 30,000 miles of clean driving last year, offsetting more than 100,000 pounds of carbon emissions, and are ready to get rolling when students head back to school August 30. Through a GMP program, four bi-directional EV chargers installed last year allow the District to share energy stored in the buses’ batteries during peak energy use times, such as heatwaves, which cuts costs for all GMP customers in Vermont. Synop, a software company for EV fleets, orchestrates the V2G transactions through its advanced charging and energy management platform. When GMP uses stored energy in the buses, it is the equivalent of taking about 80 homes off the grid during those peak energy times.
“After a year on the road, we are excited to look back at the impact the e-buses have had on our district and the community of South Burlington by reducing harmful emissions and lowering energy costs,” said Julia Maguire, South Burlington School District’s Communication Coordinator. “We look forward to continuing to work with Green Mountain Power and Highland to provide our students and their families with a greener future.”
Highland made the EV transition simple for South Burlington by taking the guesswork out of the process and ensuring all available grants and programs were applied to reduce costs.
“This project is monumental for being one of the largest electric school bus fleets in Vermont to date. It’s an honor to partner with a district like South Burlington that is committed to sustainability, student, and community health” said Duncan McIntyre, CEO of Highland Electric Fleets.
The South Burlington District received $965,000 Vermont state grant from Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funds to help purchase the busses. GMP provided additional incentives towards the buses and V2G chargers, based on the reduction in carbon emissions the project is forecasted to achieve – the equivalent of taking 905 gas powered cars off the road. Transportation with fossil fuel is one of the top sources of carbon pollution in Vermont, and switching to driving with clean electricity is the biggest step you can take to reduce your own carbon footprint while helping the state reach emissions reductions goals. GMP’s energy supply is 100% carbon free on an annual basis.
“This is innovation at work and a great collaboration that’s delivering results right now for kids and adults in Vermont. Students breathe cleaner air, all while helping their neighbors through energy sharing by lowering costs. Vehicle-to-grid is here, and it is great that South Burlington is part of the solution,” said Tiana Smith, Leader of Electrification and Sustainability at GMP.
The four buses joined GMP’s growing network of stored energy, which includes residential batteries, utility scale batteries, residential car chargers and now school buses. All networked together, these resources can cover the demand of 50,000 homes, helping save GMP customers up to $3 million a year by not purchasing power when it is most expensive. GMP also offers multiple programs to help business and residential customers switch away from fossil fuel and opt for clean electricity for driving, with all programs designed to deliver reduced costs and carbon emissions for all customers.
About South Burlington School District
The South Burlington School District is a PreK-12 public school system of about 2600 students located in South Burlington, Vermont. SBSD’s mission is to graduate students who have achieved our district’s ends of disposition for lifelong learning, academic proficiency, personal development, and citizenship. At SBSD, we inspire all learners to make a difference in the world. To learn more, visit: sbschools.net
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves more than 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont with electricity that’s 100% carbon free and 78% renewable on an annual basis, and GMP is partnering with customers to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is providing solutions to cut carbon and is delivering electricity that is clean, affordable, and always on. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2022, GMP was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential Companies. Fast Company named GMP one of the top five Most Innovative Companies in North America in 2022. GMP also earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list in the energy sector four years in a row, and in 2023 and 2021 the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation.
Highland Electric Fleets is the leading provider of electrification-as-a-service for schooldistricts, governments, and fleet operators in North America. Founded in 2019, Highland offers a unique suite of products that make it simple and affordable to upgrade to electric fleets today. Active in 30 states and Canada, Highland is responsible for the first use of electric school buses in a commercial vehicle-to-grid (V2G) program and the largest electric school bus project in the United States to date. To learn more, visit highlandfleets.com.
Synop, the leading enterprise platform for EV fleets, is accelerating the transition to commercial electric vehicles by seamlessly connecting vehicles, chargers, and the grid through end-to-end software solutions that optimize EV charging and energy management. Using AI-based platform automation, telematics integrations, and real-time monitoring tools, Synop offers a vendor-agnostic software suite, which includes charging management, energy management (VPP/V2G capabilities), vehicle management, and payment management, to maximize fleet uptime, minimize charging costs, and generate revenue through smart grid participation. To learn more, visit Synop.ai.
As students, we are looking for creative ideas that will make an impact on our generation and those to come. The district’s use of e-buses is a necessary step in fulfilling our developing Climate Action Plan and ensuring we continue to minimize our footprint within the community.Rama AL Namee, South Burlington High School Senior