Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Work to begin on smart energy bus depot in Montgomery County

An artist’s rendering of the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot, an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project in Montgomery County. The depot is expected to be operational by mid 2022, supporting 44 electric buses within Ride On Montgomery County’s public transit fleet by 2023. (Submitted rendering)

AlphaStruxure, an energy as a service company, announced Friday it will begin construction on the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot, an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project in Montgomery County.

The depot is expected to be operational by mid 2022, supporting 44 electric buses within Ride On Montgomery County’s public transit fleet by 2023.

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.

Montgomery County is committed to sustainability leadership and improving resilience to climate change, after experiencing extreme weather events and extended power outages in the recent past. Statewide, Maryland is working toward a 50% zero-emission bus fleet by 2030.

The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is aligned with the county’s priorities to reduce emissions from public transportation while enhancing the resilience of the community and infrastructure assets.

The 5.6 MW microgrid includes distributed energy generation, energy storage and over 2 MW of charging capacity. AlphaStruxure will implement a strategy to transition the onsite gas generation to carbon neutral sources in the near future, allowing the microgrid to run on 100% renewable energy in alignment with the county’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035. Transitioning 44 buses from diesel to electric, powered by on-site clean energy microgrid, will reduce lifetime emissions by 62%, equivalent to 155,000 tons of greenhouse gases.

The depot improves the county’s climate resilience, ensuring uninterrupted transit bus services during emergencies, even in the event of multiday 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 depot will ensure a ready supply of sustainable, resilient and cost-effective power for Montgomery County’s new electric bus fleet. By charging from its own power supply, the county aims to avoid utility demand charges and won’t have to set bus charging schedules around the utility’s time-of-use rates.

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.

The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will utilize Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform, including its microgrid controllers and electrical distribution equipment. 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 operations, monitoring and optimization of energy performance.