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Hickenlooper Leads on Letter Requesting Grid Resilience Legislation

Jun 9, 2023

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper urged a hearing on his Bus Integration Dedicated to Improving Resilience, Eliminating Congestion, and Triggering Innovation Over Numerous Applications and Localities (BIDIRECTIONAL) Act. This Hickenlooper bill would create a Department of Energy program to deploy electric school buses with bidirectional energy flow capability – the ability to power the electrical grid when a battery is not being used to drive a vehicle. Senators Bennet, Hienrich, King, Klobuchar, and Smith cosponsor the bill.

Electric school buses are ideal for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications because they have large batteries, sit idle for long, predictable periods, and operate in fleets.

Bidirectionality opens up a number of new opportunities on the grid. It can serve as a means of powering community centers or homes during prolonged grid outages. It can also act like energy storage, allowing grid operators to smooth out variable sources of power generation like wind and solar, or fill in for natural gas, coal, and nuclear if facilities are unable to show up when called upon, as happened in both Winter Storms Uri and Elliott.

Specifically, the BIDIRECTIONAL Act would:

  • Create a Department of Energy program dedicated to deploying electric school buses with bidirectional energy flow capability, with priority given to applications that demonstrate economic viability and seek to use V2G buses in regions or applications where V2G is promising but not yet deployed.
    • These buses could be used for V2G, vehicle-to-building (V2B), and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications, which includes grid balancing, microgrid services, offsetting building energy use, and resiliency applications such as using an electric bus as a mobile power station after natural disasters.
  • Require states’ public utility commissions to consider measures to promote V2G integration.
  • Require DOE to provide a report synthesizing lessons learned from prior state and local V2G school bus pilot programs.

View the full letter HERE or below:

June 7, 2023

Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso:

I respectfully request that the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources schedule a legislative hearing to consider S.1548, a bill to require the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to encourage deployment of electric school buses and vehicle-to-grid technologies and applications, and for other purposes. The bill was introduced on May 10th, 2023, and referred to your committee.

Thank you for your consideration.



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