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Blue Bird Corp. delivers vehicle-to-grid electric buses to Illinois districts

Blue Bird delivers a V2G bus to the Pekin Illinois school district.
Blue Bird delivers a V2G bus to the Pekin Illinois school district.(kwqc)
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 3:04 PM CDT
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PEKIN, Ill. (KWQC) - Blue Bird Corporation delivered its first battery-operated, fast charge, vehicle-to-grid school bus to the Pekin Public School District in Pekin and another one to Hollis Consolidated School District in Peoria. While cleaner for the environment, according to a news release, the equipment could also help the districts earn money.

“Not only are we improving the health of our students, drivers and communities by reducing emissions, but our V2G capabilities allow us to store clean electrical energy and to generate revenue by reselling unused energy back to the grid during peak demand,” said Daniel Jost, fleet manager for the City of Pekin. “We’re proud to lead our community, state and the country toward a future based on clean energy.”

The V2G platform can also be used to supply energy back to the school and intelligently charge the buses during non-peak hours to reduce peak-consumption energy costs. A partner company, Nuvve, is installing its high-powered V2G DC charging stations at each site.

Both school districts are members of the Bus-2-Grid Initiative, a membership service of the Future Green Energy Consortium, which helps school districts leverage V2G revenue opportunities and secure grant funding to electrify their fleets.

“With more than 400 Blue Bird electric school buses already delivered or on order, districts across the U.S. are quickly learning how easy and affordable it is to adopt this cleaner, safer solution for students,” said Trevor Rudderham, senior vice president of electrification and product planning at ‎Blue Bird.

Hollis Consolidated School District’s electric school bus purchase makes the district’s fleet 100% electric powered. “The benefits are far and wide with our Blue Bird electric bus,” said Chad Jones, superintendent and principal of Hollis Consolidated School District #328. “Compared with diesel, service requirements are significantly reduced, and we are providing 100 percent green transportation for our students.”

The districts are currently adding infrastructure and chargers to support their new zero-emissions buses, which were paid for by an electric bus grant from the Edwards Coal-Fired Plant Settlement.

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