This Maryland county is building a huge green hydrogen bus depot microgrid

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Montgomery County, Maryland, and AlphaStruxure have kicked off construction of the US’s largest renewable energy-powered bus depot.

The Maryland bus depot will also be the largest transit depot microgrid in the US and the first on the East Coast to produce green hydrogen onsite.

The 5.65-megawatt (MW) microgrid project, delivered for zero upfront costs via Energy as a Service microgrid provider AlphaStruxure, will feature electric bus charging and onsite green hydrogen production powered by solar and battery energy storage. That will allow the depot to operate indefinitely in “island mode.”

The microgrid will be at the David F. Bone Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center, a major depot within Ride On Montgomery’s network and the fifth-largest county-owned energy consumer.

By 2035, the depot is projected to accommodate 200 zero-emissions buses, most of which will be hydrogen fuel cellNew electric buses (FCEBs). A hydrogen FCEB is a zero-emissions vehicle powered by hydrogen and oxygen, emitting only water. Montgomery County chose FCEBs in part because their range can support longer bus routes.

Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure, said that Montgomery County “has proven itself as a national leader in zero-emissions transit, in part by prioritizing simultaneous procurement of both the buses and the sustainable infrastructure needed to power them. Both are fundamental to a successful fleet transition.”

The green hydrogen bus depot microgrid is expected to come online in 2025, when the system will begin to send renewable energy back to the grid and have the ability to power zero-emissions buses.

This microgrid follows the launch of the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot in 2022, which was the county’s first fully constructed microgrid-powered bus depot and also led by AlphaStruxure. Together, the two depots will eventually power around 335 zero-emissions transit buses.

Read more: This solar + microgrid storage depot can charge 70 electric buses


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