When the project is complete the bus depot will reduce the district’s carbon dioxide emissions by 780,000 tons each year. The cost savings for the district will be about $2 million annually. The Sun Valley Bus Depot houses about 20% of LAUSD’s school buses and is responsible for providing over 4,600 students with rides to and from school.
In addition to going fully electric at the Sun Valley Bus Depot, LAUSD plans to install a green retaining wall around the perimeter to help protect the neighboring magnet school during construction. By electrifying the Sun Valley bus fleet, LAUSD is eliminating a source of regional fossil fuel emissions, which will improve air quality and lung health for the surrounding communities. The district is also assessing solar panel installation at the facility, which would help the district meet its goal of achieving 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030.
Superintendent Carvalho estimates the buses at Sun Valley will cost about $72 million, and the infrastructure will cost about another $75 million. However, each bus is expected to save $10,000 annually in maintenance and fuel costs, in addition to the cost savings from selling electricity back to the grid with the buses’ bidirectional charging capability. The manufacturer, Blue Bird, made the six electric buses Sun Valley Bus Depot currently uses, which include bidirectional charging technology. By including bidirectional charging, the Sun Valley Bus Depot will also help make the regional power more resilient by discharging power during periods of peak demand and charging overnight when electricity demand is at its lowest.