Chesterfield County’s fleet of school buses is getting a jolt from one of the country’s largest electric utilities.  Dominion Energy is preparing to deliver...

Chesterfield County’s fleet of school buses is getting a jolt from one of the country’s largest electric utilities. 

Dominion Energy is preparing to deliver two electric school buses to the county by the end of the year as part of the company’s Electric School Bus Program. 

This the first time Chesterfield County will be adding electric school buses to its fleet of over 630 buses. 

The Electric School Bus Program aims to reduce emissions and operation and maintenance costs, and it will allow Chesterfield County to expand its footprint as a “green fleet leader,” reads a press release. 

“I’m very excited Chesterfield was chosen,” said Dr. Joe Casey, Chesterfield County Administrator. “Dominion has always been a great business partner, and this innovative program fits right into the county’s goal of being good stewards of the environment while making sound financial decisions.”

Aside from reducing maintenance costs and emissions, the new buses’ batteries will be able to store and inject electric energy into the local power grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not in transport. 

“We are excited to be included in this initial phase of Dominion’s program,” said Craig Willingham, fleet manager for the Department of General Services, Fleet Services Division. “Chesterfield County is already recognized as one of the top green fleets in the nation. By entering the electric bus space, we can monitor the success we anticipate with these buses in addition to our existing alternative-fueled vehicles.” 

“The potential cost savings and environmental benefits to the community are impressive,” Willingham said. “We’re pleased to be partners with Chesterfield County Public Schools in this endeavor.”

Chesterfield County Public Schools is the fifth-largest school system in the state, educating more than 62,000 students countywide. An average of 45,000 students a day rely on the school division’s fleet of buses to carry them safely to and from their respective campuses. It also transports thousands of children to field trips and sporting events throughout the region and state. 

Last year alone, the county’s fleet of school buses logged more than 9 million miles. 

“We are grateful to be a part of this historic opportunity,” Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “Partnering with Dominion Energy on this exciting initiative is in line with our efforts to be the most effective and [energy] efficient school division that we can be.” 

Dominion’s initial launch to deploy electric buses in Chesterfield County is part of the firm’s overall plan to bring electric school buses to its operating regions. 

If approved by state legislators, Dominion hopes to expand the program to bring nearly 1,000 additional electric school buses online by 2025, with the goal being to replace 100 percent of the state’s fleet of diesel-powered school buses – including in Chesterfield County – by 2030. 

“We are excited to move forward with our commitment to bringing the benefits of electric school buses to the customers and communities we serve,” said Dominion Energy chairman, president, and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II. “This is an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children’as health, make the electric grid stronger, and free up money for our schools.”