Block Island Times

BI School Committee makes history

At the Monday, Sept. 20 meeting of the School Committee, its five members voted unanimously to accept the donation of an electric bus. And so Block Island became the first community in Rhode Island to commit to acquiring an electric bus.The bus, to all appearances, is a standard-sized school bus, but it is powered entirely by batteries, which will be charged from the Block Island Power Company grid. Superintendent Robert Gerardi presented a careful cost analysis that projected an operational cost savings of nearly $20,000 annually.The funds for the bus purchase are being donated by the Solar Initiative, Block Island, in its ongoing quest to reduce carbon emissionson our island and be an example to other communities to effect conservation measures. It is estimated that electrically-powered vehiclesuse only one quarter of the fuel as diesel-powered ones and even less if the electricity is produced by renewable means.
This particular bus also has V2G capacity, which means that the power stored in the batteries could be used to help shave peak islandelectricity usage. The Block Island Power Company has given its enthusiastic support and is planning a one-year trial period in which the V2G aspect can be evaluated. The

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