SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) celebrated their new state-of-the-art transportation services center Wednesday during a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting.
The goal was to spotlight the district's planned transition to an all-electric bus fleet. The energy infrastructure to support the all-electric fleet was designed in partnership with ENGIE, a global energy and services group with expertise in energy infrastructure. With the recent delivery of 17 electric buses, phase one of GUHSD's plan is already underway.
District leaders say the cutting-edge technology will set a new nationwide bar for innovation in school transportation.
"I'm proud of the fact that we're going to lead the way for the infrastructure, the chargers, the software -- smart technology at the right time. We don't charge buses between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. and we get the job done," said CJ Rasure, Director of Transportation.
GUHSD's transportation department provides transportation for thousands of East County students to and from school. GUHSD buses travel nearly 1,000,000 miles annually, requiring more than 182,000 gallons of diesel, costing almost $495,000 yearly.
The new 32,383-square-foot Transportation Services Center includes nine bus maintenance bays, a drive-through bus and chassis wash, and extensive parts storage. The $24 million facility also features state-of-the-art automotive maintenance technology, new tools, safety technology, training, bus dispatch, and administrative support offices.
The Transportation Center also integrates energy infrastructure to support the transition to an all-electric bus fleet, supportive technology, and rooftop solar to harness renewable energy for the facility's operations.
GUHSD also secured $6.8 million in grant funding for the transition to all-electric buses:
- $4.2 million from the San Diego Air Pollution Control District
- $2.1 million from California's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program
- $318,892 from EnergIIZE (Energy Infrastructure Incentives for Zero-Emission) Commercial Vehicles Project
- $200,000 from the California Energy Commission
The District will charge its buses during school hours when there is strong solar power generation. The buses will charge overnight at super off-peak times, enabling the District to do its part to reduce need during peak stress on the grid. This is a general best practice for electric vehicles and reduces the cost of charging.
Over the next 20 years they plan to transition the districts 67 diesel fueled school buses to this more sustainable electric fleet.