New Hampshire intends to establish an electric school bus pilot program
A bill to create a pilot program for electric school buses in New Hampshire passed unanimously in the Senate last month.
SB 417, which was introduced in December, would establish an electric school bus pilot program administered by the state Department of the Environment. That agency can allocate funds from the New Hampshire Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund to start the electric school bus pilot program and can request and accept other federal funds for the purpose of funding and administering the program, the legislation said.
The bill goes 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 requires the program to begin by December 2023.
“A call for proposals must identify the amount of funding that is available to offset the additional cost of electric school buses, electric vehicle service equipment and the administrative costs of implementing a qualified pilot program,” the bill adds.
Proposals may be submitted by: investor-owned utility companies, EV charging facility providers, municipalities or school districts that operate school buses, entities that have experience owning and operating EV charging facilities, or school bus companies that are managed by a school district of New Hampshire.
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In addition, subject to Department of Energy review and approval, the local electric utility would be permitted to access and use the energy stored in the electric school bus batteries as needed to meet electricity needs or when the energy is in use in the Energy stored in batteries can reduce the cost of providing electricity to customers as long as the districts do not need the school buses to transport students and the participating institution is adequately compensated for the energy recovered from the batteries.
By January 31, 2023, and each year thereafter 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 of Representatives, and the Senate Chair of the House of Transportation and Science – and Energy Committee. The report would include an assessment 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 institution, as well as the deployment, operation and maintenance of the electric school buses and the deployment of Vehicle-to -Grid technology.