HomeGreen BusNew Hampshire Looks to Establish Electric School Bus Pilot Program

New Hampshire Looks to Establish Electric School Bus Pilot Program

A bill to create an electric school bus pilot program in New Hampshire unanimously passed the state Senate last month.

SB 417, introduced in December, would establish an electric school bus pilot program administrated by the state’s Department of Environmental Services. That agency may allocate funds from the New Hampshire Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund to launch the electric school bus pilot program and may apply for and accept other federal funding for the purposes of funding and administering the program, the legislation states.

The bill heads to the Senate Finance Committee.

The program would need to be initiated within three months of the effective date to provide funding for electric school buses and associated charging infrastructure. The bill states that the program must start by December 2023.

“A request for proposal shall identify the amount of funding that is available to offset the incremental costs of the electric school buses, the electric vehicle service equipment, and the administrative costs of implementing a qualified pilot program,” the bill adds.

Proposals can be submitted from the following: investor-owned utilities, electric vehicle charging equipment providers, municipalities or school districts that operate school buses, entities that have experience in owning and operating electric vehicle charging equipment, or school bus companies contracted for services by a New Hampshire school district.

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Additionally, pending the review and approval of the Department of Energy, the local electric utility would be allowed to access and utilize the energy stored in the batteries of the electric school bus, at times when it is needed to meet power demand or if the energy stored in the batteries can lower the cost of providing power to customers, as long as districts do not need the school buses to transport students, and the participating entity is fairly compensated for energy recovered from the batteries.

By Jan. 31, 2023, and each year after for the duration of the pilot program, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services would report on the status of the program to the governor, the senate president, the speaker of the house, and the chair of the house of transportation and science and energy committee. The report would include an evaluation of the environmental and health benefits of the pilot program, the financial costs and benefits of implementing the pilot program to the participating school system and the participating entity, as well as the deployment, operating, and maintenance of the electric school buses and the use of vehicle-to-grid technology.

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