The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week that Nevada will receive $7.7 million from EPA’s 2023 Clean School Bus Grant Program to deploy 25 electric school buses across Nevada. The Clean School Bus Program is a competitive funding opportunity that is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
This effort is a result of a partnership between the Nevada Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), NV Energy, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), and the World Resources Institute (WRI)’s Electric School Bus Initiative. NCEF, who led the application and will be responsible for administering the funds, is a nonprofit organization that provides financial and technical resources to accelerate clean energy growth in Nevada.
The award will replace 25 diesel buses with zero-emission electric school buses across Nevada over the next three years. The effort is expected to significantly lower fuel and maintenance costs while reducing harmful air pollution in the communities where the electric school buses are deployed.
By stacking this award with other funds, such as NV Energy’s Electric School Bus Vehicle-to-Grid Trial Program, the Volkswagen Settlement Funds administered by NDEP, and federal tax credits, schools can get electric school buses at no upfront cost. NCEF, NV Energy, and WRI will also provide technical assistance to school districts on the procurement and installation of the buses and bus chargers.
Lander County, Elko County, Lyon County, Douglas County, and Carson City School Districts are slated to receive funding for electric school buses from NCEF’s award. Other interested school districts should contact NCEF at email@example.com.
“The Nevada Clean Energy Fund is proud to bring these federal funds into Nevada to provide tangible health and economic benefits to our schools, students, and communities,” said Kirsten Stasio, CEO of NCEF. “This collaborative, statewide effort, enables us to make the electric school bus opportunity accessible to every Nevada school district, whether rural or urban, big or small.”
“We are excited about this opportunity to further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful air pollutants in Nevada’s communities,” said Jennifer Carr, Administrator at NDEP. “The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection is looking forward to collaborating with NCEF, NV Energy, and all the other partners, as well as continuing to invest VW Settlement Funds to benefit more schools.
“NV Energy’s electric school bus vehicle-to-grid trial gives school districts a realistic pathway to deploy electric school buses while supporting local grid resilience,” said Marie Steele, Vice President of Electrification & Energy Services for NV Energy. “This award from the EPA, and the Statewide collaboration, is critical for the ability to continue NV Energy’s longstanding effort to work with and support Nevada’s school districts.”
“As a small, rural school district, getting an electric school bus would not be possible without the partnership and support of the Nevada Clean Energy Fund and NV Energy,” said Russell Klein, Superintendent of Lander County School District.
“Thanks to this award, our school district has the opportunity to achieve fuel cost savings and test out electric buses at zero out-of-pocket cost to the school district,” said Seth Canning, Director of Transportation at Elko County School District. “These learnings are essential for electric school buses to become a larger part of our future school bus fleet.
“We are looking forward to integrating six electric school buses into our fleet using these funds,” said Harman Bains, Executive Director of Operations at the Lyon County School District. “Although the transition won’t be without its challenges, we firmly believe that the benefits will make the effort worthwhile.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with school bus electrification champions Nevada Clean Energy Fund and NV Energy to help bring clean-running electric school buses to school districts and communities across Nevada,” said Sue Gander, Director of the WRI Electric School Bus Initiative. “When green banks, state governments, utilities, school districts, advocates and other stakeholders across the school transportation ecosystem work together, we can accelerate the equitable transition to electric school buses and deliver important health, environmental and economic benefits to those who need them the most.”
“As the mother of an asthmatic child, I know how the black smoke of diesel pollution contaminates the air our children breathe and worsens conditions like asthma,” said Areli Sanchez, promotora with Chispa Nevada. “Our children deserve to breathe clean air, and I’m one of many parents who want to see electric school buses at every school in Nevada to reduce hospitalizations due to asthma. We congratulate the Nevada Clean Energy Fund on winning this grant award, and thank the EPA Clean School Bus Program for bringing additional funding to our state. Chispa Nevada will continue to work with school districts to ensure we provide a clean ride for kids and we look forward to seeing these buses circulating in our communities.”
The grant proposal was supported by Nevada’s U.S. Senators, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Senator Jacky Rosen, who worked to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “I’m thrilled to see these federal dollars I secured for clean buses coming to Nevada to help our schools lower their energy costs and keep kids safe and healthy,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Nevada’s clean energy boom is creating jobs and helping students and families across the state, and I’ll always fight to provide Nevadans with the resources they need to succeed.”
About the Nevada Clean Energy Fund (NCEF):
NCEF is a nonprofit organization that supports a thriving, affordable, and accessible clean energy economy by providing financial and technical resources to Nevadans. NCEF was established by state legislation in 2017 as the state’s green bank.
NDEP’s mission is to preserve and enhance the environment of the State in order to protect public health, sustain healthy ecosystems, and contribute to a vibrant economy. NDEP is a division of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
About NV Energy:
NV Energy, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, is an energy holding company headquartered in Nevada whose principal subsidiaries are Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific. Today, its service area covers nearly 46,000 square miles, including the communities of Las Vegas, Reno-Sparks, Henderson, and Elko. NV Energy provides a wide range of energy services to nearly 1.3 million electric customers throughout the state and more than 50 million tourists annually.