Thanks in part to Granby-based electric cooperative, Mountain Parks Electric, West Grand School District plans to add an electric school bus to its fleet to be used on daily routes. In addition to its excellent torque and eco-friendly attributes, perhaps the best thing about the 78-passenger Bluebird All American with a 120-mile range is that the district will acquire the bus at zero cost. That’s because it is being entirely funded by a state grant and contributions from its local and regional electric providers. WGSD expects to receive its new bus — the first electric bus in Grand County — in August, just in time for use on daily routes for the 2020-2021 school year.
“We really appreciate everyone’s help on this project,” said WGSD Superintendent Darrin Peppard, “especially Mountain Parks Electric, for encouraging us to apply for the state grant and for providing additional financial support.”
In late December, the Colorado’s Regional Air Quality announced its grant award of more than $250,000 to West Grand School District. The grant was open to all public, private and nonprofit fleets statewide, earmarked specifically for the replacement of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including buses. RAQC awarded a total of 20 grants in this cycle.
The remaining funds needed to purchase WGSD’s school bus came Mountain Parks Electric a not-for-profit electric cooperative headquartered in Granby, Colorado, which contributed a portion of its members’ unclaimed patronage capital from years past, and from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, MPE’s power provider. “We are thrilled to see the school district go electric,” said Mountain Parks Electric General Manager Mark Johnston. “Mountain Parks Electric’s power supply is becoming increasingly renewable. And one of the best ways to put that renewable energy to work is to replace fossil fuels with electric alternatives, like this school bus.”
MORE INFO on Bluebird electric buses: https://www.blue-bird.com/electric.