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Montgomery County’s Innovative Microgrid Bus Depot in Brookeville That Will Power Electric Bus Fleet Wins National ACT Expo Fleet Award for ‘Transit and Mobility’

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Montgomery County’s Brookville Smart Energy Depot in Silver Spring, which was dedicated in October as the nation’s largest solar bus charging infrastructure project and will supply clean energy to the County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) growing Ride On electric bus fleet, has been named winner of a national “Advance Clean Tech Expo Fleet Award for Transit and Mobility.”

The award was presented at ceremonies in Anaheim, Calif., last week. Montgomery County’s project, which was completed through a partnership between the County’s Department of General Services (DGS) and AlphaStruxure, a leader in Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions, was one of seven award winners in various categories. Among other jurisdictions to win awards were New York City, Kansas City, Mo., and Lower Marion, Pa. Three awards went to private companies.

“The ACT Expo Fleet Awards recognize fleets and individuals leading the transition to near-zero and zero-emission transportation,” states the awards program. “The winners have shown true leadership in sustainable transportation, demonstrating a commitment to improving the air quality in their communities and successfully transitioning to cleaner technologies within their fleet operations. A diverse set of organizations from across North America were honored in multiple award categories.”

Montgomery County’s microgrid is the third in the U.S. that will use solar power to charge buses for public transportation. The project was delivered at no upfront cost to the County through an EaaS contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating expenses and guaranteed performance without upfront capital expenditures.

“This project has been garnering attention nationally because it is innovative, groundbreaking and will help us achieve our ambitious climate action plan to reduce all carbon emissions by 2035,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas. This is an exciting project that produces solar energy and battery storage for our electric bus fleet, which should include 70 electric buses by 2026. We already have a good start of 14 and expect to order another 30 or so next year for a total of about 44 buses. This is an important step toward an emissions-free fleet and improving the County's resilience.”

The project includes solar panels installed on tall canopies with charging stations, onsite battery storage and backup generation at an existing MCDOT Ride On bus depot. It will provide clean, renewable energy to charge up to 70 electric buses by 2026, with ample electric storage. The project contributes significantly to expanding the needed infrastructure for the County’s growing zero-emission fleet, of which MCDOT Ride On transit buses are a major part. The County has an aggressive goal to transition its fleet, including buses and maintenance vehicles, to zero carbon emissions by 2035.

The Brookeville Microgrid Bus Depot was recognized by the ACT Expo Fleet Awards for exemplifying the national move to fleets using clean energy.

“The acceleration of the advanced clean transportation market will only work if we have both buyers and sellers making equal commitments to invest in clean fuels and technologies,” said Erik Neandross, CEO at Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), the nation’s leading clean transportation consulting firm and host of the ACT Expo. “With billions of dollars of investment happening on the supplier side of the equation, we commend and recognize the fleet end users who have stepped up in a big way to help advance the industry’s collective efforts to make these markets economically and environmentally sustainable.”

MCDOT, in coordination with DGS, developed a Bus Transition Plan to ensure the current 400-bus fleet is on track to become a zero-emissions fleet by 2035.

“This is the fourth microgrid project undertaken by Montgomery County, but the one that will have the greatest impact on County residents," said DGS Director David Dise. “Reducing the County’s dependence on fossil fuels is vital to our future. Equally vital is ensuring that public facilities are resilient to the unpredictable impacts of climate and infrastructure degradation. This project is a model of successfully addressing both challenges and we did it through a public-private partnership at no upfront cost to taxpayers.”

For more information about the ACT and the Fleet Expo Awards, go to

For more information about the Brookeville Microgrid Bus Depot, go to Montgomery County Maryland (

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Release ID: 23-200
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-205-1915
Categories: Award, Environment, Public Works, Transportation