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In a groundbreaking move, the California Energy Commission has awarded BorgWarner Inc., alongside esteemed collaborators Fermata Energy and The Lion Electric Company, a $3 million grant for a transformative Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) initiative. This initiative marks a substantial stride forward in energy management and the adoption of electric school buses.

Harnessing Power

California’s power grid has faced increasing strain due to escalating extreme weather events driven by climate change, such as prolonged heat waves, droughts, and wildfires. With the surge of electric vehicles entering the market, V2G technology emerges as a critical component in California’s pursuit of a cleaner energy future. By harnessing excess power from solar and wind farms during the day to charge electric vehicles for evening use when demand peaks, V2G holds promise in alleviating this strain.

Fermata Energy Collaboration with BorgWarner & Lion Electric

Through collaborative efforts with BorgWarner, Fermata Energy, and Lion Electric, the CEC aims to strengthen and decarbonize California’s grid while equipping a fleet of electric school buses with AI-powered V2G technology. This initiative empowers electric school bus batteries to offer supplementary grid support during emergencies when parked and to generate revenue through participation in demand response programs and other value streams, ultimately reducing the Total Cost of Ownership.

Fermata Energy V2X Software

Fermata Energy, headquartered at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, has developed an AI-driven V2X software platform that simplifies participation in revenue- or savings-generating grid programs, providing the greatest value to the grid.The grant will facilitate the installation of 21 BorgWarner 125 kW UL-listed, combined charging system (CCS) protocol bidirectionally enabled chargers, in conjunction with a minimum of 20 LionD all-electric school buses. Leveraging Fermata Energy’s Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) software platform will optimize and manage the charging and discharging of the buses, maximizing grid benefits and V2X revenue for the school districts.

Deployment of V2G

The deployment of V2G technology for the Conejo Valley Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, alongside American Transportation, will bolster grid reliability and mitigate the impact of PSPS events and extreme weather occurrences. Moreover, it will underscore the health benefits of zero-emission transportation solutions while generating revenue by selling power back to the grid.

Power of Partnership

Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy, emphasized, “This CEC grant and project underscore the power of partnerships and our collective dedication to sustainability as we deploy this cutting-edge V2G bidirectional hardware and software solution. Together, we are advancing electric vehicle integration and grid support in California schools while enabling a viable path toward renewable energy for future generations.”

Patty Monahan, California Energy Commission’s Lead Commissioner for Transportation, highlighted, “With this new technology, electric school buses are not only delivering cleaner air to our children and cost savings to our school districts but also providing extra power to the grid when we need it most.”

Isabelle McKenzie, Vice President of BorgWarner Inc. and President and GM, Morse Systems, stated, “BorgWarner is proud to partner with Fermata Energy and Lion Electric on this exciting project, supporting the State of California in electrifying the transportation departments of their school districts while addressing real grid challenges.”

Nate Baguio, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at Lion Electric, added, “The investment from the CEC for V2G-dedicated projects underscores the significance of this emerging technology and how collaborating with Fermata Energy and BorgWarner is helping address the demands of electrification.”

Dr. Victor Hayek, Conejo Valley Unified School District’s Deputy Superintendent, concluded, “This new sustainable technology will support this endeavor, with positive infrastructure and environmental impacts for our community – a big win-win.”

Learn more HERE