Arup celebrates AlphaStruxure’s launch of the Montgomery County’s Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot microgrid – a first in the Washington region

Ozgur Gungor Ozgur Gungor Americas Press Office,New York
31 October 2022

Marking a major milestone for decarbonized public transit, the opening of Montgomery County’s Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot today makes it the first microgrid to power electric buses in the Washington region. As part of a public-private partnership with the County, Arup was engaged by AlphaStruxure for detailed engineering to upgrade the existing bus facility's site infrastructure for vehicle electrification and connect all components for microgrid operations. The on-site energy generation components provide resilience and reliability to ensure that there will be uninterrupted charging availability for the bus fleet at all hours.

Tackling transportation emissions makes up a significant portion of Montgomery County's bold climate action. By opening this pioneering transit center and microgrid, the County with AlphaStruxure is embarking to make a real impact while signaling future opportunities for cities across the United States. Arup is proud to have the opportunity to bring its experience in bus electrification infrastructure, energy storage, renewable energy systems, and stormwater solutions to help achieve this important milestone. ” Woman with dark brown hair smiling towards the camera. Linda Toth Associate Sustainability Consultant at Arup

Arup’s services included microgrid electrical design, site civil engineering for stormwater compliance and permitting, structural and geotechnical engineering to support equipment on the constrained site, plumbing engineering for generator connections, microgrid power studies, and utility coordination, including interconnection agreements.

Arup's multidisciplinary team adapted the design to existing conditions and site constraints, working with an active bus fleet facility that remained operational during construction. This included coordination of existing stormwater management facilities, implementation of equipment structures to reduce the loss of bus parking spaces and working closely with the photovoltaic design team for maximum conduit and trenching efficiency across the site.

The 6.5 MW microgrid includes bus-height solar canopies, on-site energy generators, battery energy storage, and over 4.14 MW of charging capacity. This project is delivered by AlphaStruxure at no upfront cost to the County through an Energy as a Service (EaaS) contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance without upfront capital expenditures.

A covered bus depot with electric bus chargers and green and blue EV busses A covered bus depot with electric bus chargers and green and blue EV busses

“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. At AlphaStruxure, we’re grateful for our partnership with Arup to successfully deliver this project that will better serve County residents for many years to come.”

The resilient microgrid will provide uninterrupted power to transit buses and in the long-term will run on 100% renewable energy in alignment with the Montgomery County’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035. Transitioning 70 buses from diesel to electric, powered by on-site clean energy microgrid, will reduce lifetime emissions by 62%, equivalent to more than 160,000 tons of greenhouse gases over the next 25 years. The opening of the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot progresses the County’s priorities to reduce emissions from public transportation while enhancing the resilience of the community and infrastructure assets.