For Immediate Release
August 24, 2022
GMP: Kristin Carlson (802) 229-8200
Highland Electric: Alison Mickey (202) 316-9891
South Burlington School District: Corey Burdick (802) 598-0086
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: Stephanie Brackin (802) 261-0606
South Burlington, Vt. – South Burlington students will be riding to school pollution-free this year, thanks to four new electric buses that have joined the school district’s fleet. Innovative vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bus chargers will also allow the buses to provide stored energy to the grid during energy peaks which further reduces carbon emissions and costs for all Green Mountain Power (GMP) customers across Vermont.
“We are excited to be able to offer our students the opportunity to ride on emissions-free transportation for the first time in our District’s history, ” Communications Coordinator Corey Burdick said, “We will have two electric buses on route this fall with two more anticipated soon. This initiative furthers the district’s goals around climate change mitigation and is in alignment with the ways we have been partnering with the city on renewable energy. We are grateful to our local partners who helped make this a reality and can’t wait to see our students’ reactions on the first day of school!”
To help fund the project, the District received a grant in the amount of $965,000 through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation with funding from Vermont’s Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funds. GMP provided additional incentives toward the buses and V2G chargers based on the amount of carbon emissions the project is expected to reduce – the equivalent of taking 905 gas powered cars off the road.
“We are pleased to apply Volkswagen Settlement funding towards taking steps in providing cleaner air and a brighter future for Vermont’s students,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner John Beling. “The electric school buses deployed in South Burlington will reduce the risk of exposure to harmful diesel emissions for the students, bus drivers, schools, and communities they serve.”
South Burlington school officials did not have to become energy experts to do this project, because Highland Electric Fleets provides all the equipment and services needed to implement the project and keep the buses running smoothly, making the upgrade to electric simple and affordable.
“By removing the upfront cost and complexity, Highland helps school districts across the country upgrade to electric buses that can reliably transport students and also provide power to local electric grids during periods of peak demand,” said Ben Schutzman, vice president of fleet operations at Highland. “We are excited to work with South Burlington and Green Mountain Power to deliver cleaner transportation for students, a better experience for drivers, and a more resilient grid for the community.”
GMP provided $55,000 in financial incentives to help South Burlington switch from fossil fuel through its Business Innovation program, which is open to all GMP business customers. The District will also share energy with the grid during peak energy use times, like heat waves, through V2G chargers and GMP’s groundbreaking Flexible Load Management program, which is proving that buildings and buses can serve as batteries to help reduce costs and carbon directly for customers during energy peaks.
“Vehicle-to-grid is an important part of our growing network of stored energy which is delivering results now for Vermont by saving millions in costs for customers while cutting carbon and making communities more resilient,” said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO who also serves on the Electric School Bus Advisory Council for the World Resources Institute. “We’re so proud that Vermont is leading the way in this critical energy transition and that more Vermont students can travel to school with cleaner air.”
You can check out one of the buses for yourself at SoBu NiteOut* on Thursday, August 25 from 5-8 pm at Veterans Memorial Park. Representatives from the School District, GMP, Highland and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will be there to answer questions. Pictures of the buses and chargers are also attached.
What: Electric School Buses at SoBu NiteOut *
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 1000 Dorset Street, South Burlington
When: August 25, 5-8 pm
* Weather dependent!
About the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is charged with oversight and management of Vermont’s natural environment on behalf of the people of Vermont. We endeavor to draw from and build upon Vermonters’ shared ethic of responsibility for our natural environment, an ethic that encompasses a sense of place, community and quality of life, and an understanding that we are an integral part of the environment, and that we must all be responsible stewards for this and future generations. https://anr.vermont.gov/.
About the South Burlington School District
The South Burlington School District is a PreK-12 public school system of about 2600 students located in South Burlington, VT. SBSD’s mission is to graduate students who have achieved our districts 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: www.sbschools.net.
About Highland Electric Fleets
Highland Electric Fleets is the leading provider of fleet electrification-as-a-service in North America. Founded in 2018, Highland offers a unique suite of products that make it simple and affordable for school districts, governments, and fleet operators to upgrade to electric fleets today. By partnering with Highland, communities can improve local health, stabilize fuel costs, lower carbon emissions, eliminate noise pollution, and support grid resiliency with commercial vehicle-to-grid solutions. Active in 30 states and Canada, Highland is responsible for the largest electric school bus deployment in the United States. To learn more, visit https://highlandfleets.com.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves approximately 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont with electricity that’s 100% carbon free and 68% renewable, and is partnering with them 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 2021 the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation.