AlphaStruxure, Montgomery County (MD), U.S. Senator Van Hollen, U.S. Representative Raskin, USDOT, USDOE & Corporate Leaders Celebrate Launch of Integrated Microgrid Powering County’s Ride On Electric Bus Fleet—a First in the Washington Region

News & Press Releases
6 min read
News & Press Releases
6 min read
Brookville Smart Energy Depot opens as largest solar bus charging infrastructure project in U.S.

●   County Executive Elrich, Senator Van Hollen, Deputy Secretary Trottenberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary Berube joined AlphaStruxure, Schneider Electric and Carlyle leadership to cut the ribbon and participate in “first plug-in” of a County e-bus 

●   This innovative project supports the sustainability, electrification, and climate resilience goals of Montgomery County, Maryland

●   Microgrid includes distributed solar energy generation, renewable natural gas ready on-site generation and battery energy storage

Watch the livestream of the ribbon cutting event, including comments from the Montgomery County Executive, Senator Van Hollen, Representative Raskin, and other federal, state, and business leaders.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Today, AlphaStruxure, a leader in Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions, and Montgomery County, Maryland (County) officials celebrated the launch of the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot microgrid, an integrated electric bus charging infrastructure project in Silver Spring, MD. Leaders from AlphaStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and Carlyle, were joined by County leadership, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin, Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Transportation Polly Trottenberg, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation at the Department of Energy Michael Berube, for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and “first plug-in” of a County electric bus. AphaStruxure led this project, providing the County with a trusted partner in realizing their electrification, sustainability, and resilience goals with Carlyle’s comprehensive financial capabilities and Schneider Electric’s leading microgrid technology, software, and services.

This is the first microgrid to power electric buses in the Washington region.

The 6.5 MW microgrid includes bus-height solar canopies, renewable natural gas-ready on-site generation, battery energy storage, and over 4.14 MW of charging capacity. This project is delivered at no upfront cost to the County through an EaaS contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance without upfront capital expenditures.

“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.”

“This project has been garnering attention around our nation and throughout the world because it is innovative, groundbreaking, and will help us achieve our ambitious climate action plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas. We are leading by example by going emission-free. We’re the third nationally to have solar-powered charging stations for our buses with one of the most sophisticated integrated microgrids. We should be able to fill this bus depot with 70 electric buses by 2026. We’re well on our way to our goal of an emissions-free fleet by 2035 and improving the County’s resilience. I want to thank DGS, MCDOT, and AlphaStruxure along with their parent companies Schneider Electric and Carlyle for working together with us to make this project a reality for Montgomery County.” 

County Executive Marc Elrich and AlphaStruxure CEO Juan Macias (center) demonstrate the charging of electric buses at the Brookville Bus Depot, alongside other elected officials and project partners. 

This resilient microgrid will provide uninterrupted power to the County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Ride On transit electric buses and in the long-term will run on 100 percent renewable energy in alignment with the County’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035. By 2026, the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will be home to 70 electric transit buses. Transitioning these 70 buses from diesel to electric, powered by the on-site clean energy microgrid, will reduce lifetime emissions by 62 percent equivalent to more than 160,000 tons of greenhouse gas reduction over the next 25 years.

Today’s event marks the completion of the project’s first phase, which was finished in just one year without any safety incidents or impact on the bus depot’s operations. During the event, County officials announced that, due to AlphaStruxure’s demonstrated expertise to manage all aspects of designing, building, operating, and maintaining the microgrid, the County has decided to expand its partnership with AlphaStruxure to accelerate the development of the next project phase. This next phase includes adding additional charging capacity and two additional renewable natural gas-ready gensets to ensure resilience, reliability, and guaranteed uptime of the system.

Montgomery County leveraged its progressive energy purchasing regulations to create a public-private partnership with AlphaStruxure, which designed, built, financed, owns, and operates the project. The microgrid’s performance is managed by the AlphaStruxure IntegrateTM digital platform, a cyber-by-design platform that provides real-time visibility to all stakeholders, allowing for optimal operations throughout the microgrid’s lifecycle. 24/7 Network Operators work to predict and respond to the system in real-time so that the microgrid meets Montgomery County’s ambitious goals.

“This Montgomery County project is a great example of how we can make public transit clean and reliable while saving on energy costs. I was proud to help secure federal funding to help the County grow their new fleet of electric buses – powered by their own renewable energy microgrid – which will enable residents to get around in a way that’s more affordable, cleaner, and quieter than gas-powered transit,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “With the passage of the infrastructure modernization law and the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ll be working to replicate this kind of public-private partnership across Maryland and the country so we can better confront the climate crisis, lower costs and build a more sustainable future.”

Montgomery County’s commitment to infrastructure that’s resilient to climate change became a higher priority after the 2012 derecho when many residents lost power. The Depot ensures uninterrupted transit bus services during emergencies, even in the event of multi-day utility grid outages. The microgrid’s battery energy storage 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 for local residents and businesses. The project ensures operational flexibility, providing the County with full control over dispatch and bus routing.

Statewide, Maryland is working towards a 50 percent 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.

AlphaStruxure’s partners on this project include Arup which provided engineering support; M.A. Mortenson Company which led construction; SunPower which provided the photovoltaic solar panel system; AB Energy which provided the gensets, Dynapower which provided the battery energy storage system, Heliox which provided the charging infrastructure; The Mobility House which provided the charging management system, and AZZO provided the network and communications system.

About AlphaStruxure

AlphaStruxure is a leading Energy as a Service (EaaS) provider that designs, builds, owns, operates, and maintains tailored energy infrastructure, including microgrids. Unlike other EaaS providers, AlphaStruxure owns its clients’ systems for their lifecycle, making it fully accountable for long-term outcomes on resilience, reliability, greenhouse gas reduction, and cost stability — without the CapEx or complexity. AlphaStruxure’s unique joint-venture model combines Carlyle’s capital backing with Schneider Electric’s 185+ year legacy and its track record as the #1 microgrid technology provider, with over 300 successful projects across North America. As a steadfast innovator in the new energy landscape, AlphaStruxure unlocks ambitious transformations for energy-intensive private and public sector organizations. AlphaStruxure is based in Boston, MA and operates across North America while leveraging global capabilities.

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About Carlyle

Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Global Investment Solutions. With $376 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2022, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs more than 1,900 people in 26 offices across five continents. Further information is available at Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.

We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, endpoint to cloud connecting products, controls, software, and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries.

We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.


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