Washington, D.C. region’s first resilient clean energy microgrid charges Maryland electric transit fleet; will save over 160,000 metric tons of lifetime carbon emissions
BELMONT, Calif. – The Mobility House, in collaboration with partners including AlphaStruxure and Schneider Electric, celebrates the completion and energizing of Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot in Montgomery County, Maryland. This landmark integrated 6.5 MW microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project uses onsite solar canopies, natural gas generators, battery storage, microgrid controls and electric bus chargers to support 70 electric buses, a holistic solution that can run independent of the local utility. The Mobility House’s smart charging and energy management system, ChargePilot, coordinates charging with the microgrid by optimizing the buses’ charging schedules based on route blocks and energy demands to ensure vehicle readiness.
“Montgomery County has been committed to sustainability leadership and improving resilience after experiencing extreme weather events and recent extended power outages. Brookville Smart Energy Depot aligns with the County’s priorities to reduce emissions from public transportation while strengthening the community and infrastructure assets,” said Michael Yambrach, Interim Chief, Office of Energy and Sustainability, Department of General Services for Montgomery County.
“The transportation infrastructure of tomorrow is up and running today in Montgomery County,” said Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure. “We are thrilled to partner with Montgomery County on this holistic solution that delivers improved, cleaner services to County constituents. This benchmark project serves as a national model for municipalities and private fleet owners across the county to efficiently deploy the charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources that the energy transition requires, accelerating the electrification of medium and heavy-duty vehicle fleets. Thanks to a turnkey Energy as a Service approach, we’ve delivered an integrated bus fleet solution with a resilient energy supply and without upfront costs or financial risks for the County. The Mobility House plays an instrumental role as the interface between the microgrid and vehicles, while reducing operating costs to help make this Energy as a Service model a success for the County. At AlphaStruxure we’re grateful for our partnership with Mobility House to successfully deliver this innovative project.”
The 6.5 MW microgrid features 1.6 MW of solar PV, three 633 kW generators and 3 MW of battery storage to support up to 70 electric buses – 50 percent of the Brookville bus fleet. Charging from its onsite power supply gives the County freedom to “island” from the grid, which not only ensures continuous fleet operation in the event of grid failures, but also the limitations of coordinating bus charging schedules around utility time-of-use rates.
“The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a momentous achievement not only for resilient public transportation but also in demonstrating the power of integrated technologies to provide sustainable community resources,” said The Mobility House U.S. Managing Director Gregor Hintler. “Managing EV charging within a microgrid is a technological achievement, and we are proud to offer our ChargePilot system as the link between onsite renewable energy generation and EV consumption.”
Responsible for ensuring all buses at the Brookville bus depot are charged to meet the next day’s routes, The Mobility House’s ChargePilot system intelligently coordinates with the microgrid’s 4.14 MW charging capacity to source onsite power at the correct times throughout the day and night. ChargePilot also ensures that EV charging responds to load balancing and peak shaving commands from the microgrid controller.