DTE Energy in Detroit is funding zero-emission electric school buses for Ann Arbor and Roseville public school districts through $1.5 million in grants. The partnership was selected by the state of Michigan to receive funding for six Thomas Built “Jouley” Buses powered by Proterra, as well as charging equipment.
“This is of significant importance because it is aimed at removing harmful emissions that expose school-aged children who utilize bus transportation,” says Debra Swartz, pollution prevention program analyst for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. “We feel this young population is particularly vulnerable in that respect.”
The Ann Arbor Public Schools will receive four buses and Roseville Community Schools will receive two. DTE will work with both districts to ensure the necessary electric infrastructure is constructed to support the project.
“This is a progressive step forward for our schools and aligns nicely with our existing sustainability goals in the Ann Arbor community,” says Marios Demetrious, assistant superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools.
DTE will also partner with the schools to implement a vehicle-to-grid study that will allow the utility to better understand the effects of battery storage technology.
“This partnership and grant fits well with our commitment to advancing both STEM education and Michigan’s clean energy future,” says Trevor F. Lauer, president and COO of DTE Electric.
DTE has joined with the Michigan Association of School Transportation to develop educational programs around the new buses. Students will see real-world applications of the new innovations.
“Not only will (the buses) help us reduce our carbon footprint, but they will also serve as great educational opportunities for our students,” says John Kment, superintendent, Roseville Community Schools. “Our educators will use them to lead discussions on how we can all take steps to integrate cleaner energy into our daily lives.”