San Diego, CA–Nuvve Holding Corporation, a San Diego-based global cleantech company electrifying the planet through its intelligent energy platform, along with Blue Bird Corporation, the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, and the Ramona Unified School District in California’s San Diego County, recently announced the unveiling of eight electric, zero-emission school buses powered by DC fast chargers supplied by Nuvve and enabled with Nuvve’s GIVe vehicle-to-grid (V2G) energy aggregation platform.
The parties have completed commissioning and interconnection activities with the local electrical infrastructure provided by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). As a result, the vehicles are qualified to generate revenues for the school district through SDG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) by selling energy stored in the vehicles’ batteries back to the grid during times of high grid stress or emergencies as determined by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).
Nuvve, a world leader in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, is now combining the excess electricity in eight electric school bus batteries in the rural Ramona Unified School District in eastern San Diego County and exporting it to the grid during emergencies. Nuvve is committed to making the grid more resilient, enhancing sustainable transportation, and supporting energy equity in an electrified world.
This program in the Ramona Unified School District represents Blue Bird’s largest commercial V2G project for a school district to date. By participating in the ELRP, SDG&E customers such as the Ramona district can receive $2 per kWh, which equates to a potential savings of up to $7,200 per bus per year for verified export and load reduction. The availability of grants and the Biden-Harris Administration’s recent announcement of the nearly $1 billion Clean School Bus Rebate program facilitates the transition to zero-emission fleets for districts like Ramona.
“The introduction of electric school buses helps put Ramona on the map by showing that even small communities are playing important roles in creating a safer, cleaner future for our children and the planet,” said Rena Seifts, assistant superintendent of Ramona Unified School District. “The data speaks for itself: if we don’t reduce our dependence on fossil fuels sooner than later, the younger generations here in Ramona and beyond will be stuck paying a hefty price.”
Since ESBs run on electricity only, they produce zero harmful carbon emissions and particulate matter typically emitted by traditional, combustion-fueled buses. In addition, ESBs can create valuable grid service revenue streams that benefit school districts any time the buses are parked and plugged in through Nuvve’s V2G technology.
“When a V2G interconnection occurs, the bus, charger, and grid are essentially talking to each other,” said Gregory Poilasne, founder, and CEO of Nuvve. “This communication through our GIVe platform is essential: it monitors the energy being sent to the grid while ensuring there’s enough energy necessary for drivers to complete their routes the next day.”
“Electric school buses are a perfect match for V2G technology because of their large onboard batteries,” said SDG&E Clean Transportation Director Jeni Reynolds. “These zero-emissions vehicles not only help improve air quality, but they can also help meet our community’s energy needs by putting electricity back on the grid when parked.”
Blue Bird, whose electric fleet is fully compatible with Nuvve’s V2G technology, has delivered more than 700 ESBs to customers across the United States and Canada since 2018. With diesel prices at elevated levels, districts are seeking new ways to begin switching to ESBs while maintaining reliable student transportation for students in low-income or disadvantaged communities.
“Introducing Blue Bird zero-emission electric school buses into Ramona means that the school district puts student and community health first,” said Albert Burleigh, executive director of EV business development for Blue Bird Corporation. “We’re happy to see how Ramona utilizes grant funding to transition to clean, next-generation student transportation. With millions of dollars in grant funding currently available, other districts need to consider how they can electrify their fleets today.”
How It Works In 2020, Nuvve and Blue Bird announced a collaboration to introduce V2G-compatible electric buses to the U.S. market and thereby intelligently integrate electric vehicles (EVs) into the grid using Nuvve’s V2G platform. All Blue Bird Type C and D electric buses come standard with Nuvve’s V2G integration capabilities, which, combined with a Nuvve-supplied V2G charging station, can store and discharge energy. The excess stored energy across multiple buses can be connected to form virtual power plants that offer valuable grid services and generate revenue. Blue Bird’s V2G capability provides a significant advantage over other ESBs by allowing districts to leverage them when parked and connected to help stabilize the grid and prevent blackouts.
By using Nuvve’s V2G platform, districts like Ramona USD can realize cost benefits by intelligently charging ESBs when rates are low, allowing the district to sell the excess energy in their ESBs back to the grid when needed. Proceeds can help offset the upfront costs of charging infrastructure, let districts afford more electric school buses, put money back into the classroom, and more.
Since its founding in 2010, Nuvve has launched successful V2G projects on five continents and is deploying commercial services worldwide by developing partnerships with utilities, automakers, and electric vehicle fleets.