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Project Profile: Montgomery Microgrid Charging Depot P3, Maryland

Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot supports the sustainability, electrification, and climate resilience goals of Montgomery County, Maryland

Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot supports the sustainability, electrification, and climate resilience goals of Montgomery County, Maryland
Source: Credit to AlphaStruxure and Montgomery County, Maryland

Project Name

Montgomery Microgrid Charging Depot, Maryland


Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot, Montgomery County, Maryland

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Montgomery County, Maryland

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject Finance Value Capture

Value Capture Techniques

Joint Development and Solar Energy Use


Other: Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure & Solar Station


Montgomery County, Maryland leveraged its progressive energy purchasing regulations to create a public-private partnership with AlphaStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, to build a microgrid depot to charge county-owned electric buses. This project will help prepare the site for a minimum of 70 electric buses that will be operated from the facility including transitioning 44 diesel buses in Ride On Montgomery County’s fleet to electric. The infrastructure will be housed at the Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot.

The Brookville Bus Depot will be the first of its kind to integrate microgrid controls and solar canopies with electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The microgrid will use energy that originates from solar panels at a bus depot rather than the traditional electricity grid — the process used by most transit agencies with electric buses. The goal is to provide sustainability, reliability, and resilience for the county's transportation system. Electric bus charging, incorporating clean energy production technologies, will enable the County to provide sustainable, resilient, and reliable energy supply for bus charging and site operations. The project will include the following:

  • 2 Megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic canopies that will provide electrical power to the buses and to the battery storage systems
  • 4.3-Megawatt Hours (MWH) battery storage
  • 2 MW of natural gas generation
  • Microgrid controller

The 5.6 MW microgrid includes distributed energy generation, energy storage and over 2 MW of charging capacity. AlphaStruxure will implement a strategy to transition the onsite gas generation to carbon neutral sources in the near future, allowing the microgrid to run on 100 percent renewable energy in alignment with the County’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2035.

The county structures energy-as-a-service (EaaS) approach where a third-party implements advanced energy infrastructure equipment that supports charging a bus fleet. Through environmental credits, tax credits and other incentives the county intends to use a minimum amount of county capital. This approach allows the county to deploy the infrastructure with no upfront costs, instead of allocating that investment over time as an operating cost for the transit agency.


No upfront payment. The ESA agreement, similarly structured as a traditional power-purchase agreement (PPA), not only includes the sale of electricity but also usage of the underlying infrastructure and assurances that the hardware will continue to charge the bus fleet even if the local utility suffers from long-term outages. The “first-of-its-kind Energy-as-a-Service” (EaaS) approach.

Funding Sources

Public Private Partnership, State, and local grants

  • $ 0.3 million &ndassh; The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provided the County with a $300,000 grant from its Public Facility Solar Grant Program to help fund the nearly 1.7 megawatts of solar PV canopies that will be constructed over the bus parking areas.
  • No upfront payment: Upfront costs remain a barrier to electrifying bus fleets by transit agencies. The county purchased electric buses with Federal Transit Administration grants. AlphaStruxure began the project, fronting the capital, and the county is expected to pay back monthly over 25 years, alongside its power bill.
Project Delivery / Contract Method

DBFOM (Design, Build, Finance, Own, and Operate)

Private Partner
  • AlphaStruxure - a joint venture of Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund will operate the project via a cloud-connected network operations center providing 24/7/365 operations, monitoring and optimization of energy performance.
  • SunPower will design and build the project’s solar photovoltaic canopies. Other vendors include AB Energy USA, Dynapower, ChargePilot, Heliox and Mortenson.
  • Arup will serve as engineer of record.
Project Advisors / Consultants



Equity Providers

  • Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund
  • Schneider Electric
Duration / Status
  • The groundbreaking for a microgrid to power the Brookville Bus Depot fleet took place on Thursday, September 9, 2021, as part of a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
  • The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will be built and operational by mid-2022, supporting 44 electric buses within Ride On Montgomery County’s public transit fleet by 2023.
Financial Status / Financial Performance

Financial closing on September 9, 2021, on a 25-year Energy Services Agreement.The microgrid and charging infrastructure will be delivered at no upfront cost to the County through an EaaS contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance for sustainability, resilience, and reliability.

Rather than buying the microgrid and charging infrastructure outright, the County partnered with AlphaStruxure, who builds, owns, operates, and maintains the system. The County then purchases the electricity and resilience supplied by the microgrid and charging infrastructure on an ongoing basis. This model delivers the supporting infrastructure required to electrify our bus fleet, customized to our specific needs, at no upfront cost while also enhancing resilience and environmental sustainability,” County Department of General Services Director David Dise explained.

  • Turnkey Energy as a Service solution. Comprehensive risk mitigation and transfer throughout project lifecycle, AlphaStruxure financial approach eliminates upfront cost for the County, High-touch, collaborative design approach, project execution and service, Future-proofed digital architecture and monitored 24/7 by AlphaStruxure Network Operating Center
  • Bus Electrification: Enabling the County’s transition from fossil fuel buses to electric buses with a customized energy and infrastructure solution
  • Environmental Sustainability: 62 percent carbon emissions reduction with electric buses powered by the microgrid and lifetime greenhouse gas benefit of over 155,000 tons
  • Climate Resilience and Operational Reliability Ensures uninterrupted bus services during any long-term power outages caused by severe weather as well as any short-term disturbances or perturbations of the utility grid
  • Flexible Fleet Operations: Avoidance of utility demand charges and time-of-use tariffs provides fleet operations with ultimate dispatch flexibility
  • Financial Benefits: Energy as a Service approach eliminates upfront cost to the County for the project including all microgrid and charging infrastructure, and provides long-term cost predictability for energy supply
  • Economic Development: Creates more than 50 construction jobs
  • Leveraging strong relationships with industry-leading partners, the project integrates clean energy including solar photovoltaic canopies designed and built by SunPower, AB Energy USA onsite generation with a carbon neutral fuel transition strategy, Dynapower battery energy storage, charging and energy management software, ChargePilot from The Mobility House, and Heliox chargers.
Related Links / Articles

Montgomery County, Maryland
Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Executive

Director David E. Dise, Director

Jamie P. Cooke, Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer

Greg Ossont, Deputy Director
Monika Hammer

Antenna Group for AlphaStruxure
Annika Harper

The Carlyle Group
Brittany Berliner
+1 (212) 813-4839

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