Entergy New Orleans launches vehicle-to-grid charger pilot in partnership with First Student

Published on September 25, 2023 by Chris Galford

© Entergy

In a collaborative effort, Entergy New Orleans announced its first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pilot this week, providing service for the installation of five electric vehicle chargers with V2G capabilities.

First Student, the largest school transportation company in North America, will provide five electric buses for the project. By combining their offerings, plugged in buses will be able to transfer energy back onto the grid when tapped by the Energy Smart Commercial Demand Response Program. Further, the program will be federally funded through a $1.9 million Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean School Bus Rebate grant won by Crescent City Schools last year.

“This partnership with First Student is another step toward helping modernize our customers’ fleets and reducing emissions in New Orleans,” Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO, said. “Additionally, the implementation of groundbreaking technology like V2G chargers for the New Orleans grid shows that our company and community are moving quickly towards a cleaner energy future.”

The pilot should officially begin in early 2024, when the new buses enter service. At that point, their bi-directional charging capabilities could improve the sustainability of the grid and improve long-term elements of the clean energy transition with significant extra capacity during periods of high demand.

“First Student is committed to creating a more sustainable future by electrifying our nation’s school bus fleet, and collaborating with Entergy New Orleans is a significant milestone in reaching that goal,” Kevin Matthews, Head of Electrification at First Student, said. “Our partnership signifies a shared commitment to cleaner energy solutions. The introduction of V2G chargers to the New Orleans grid not only represents progress but also demonstrates our dedication to pioneering technology that will shape an efficient energy landscape for the community.”

Last year, Entergy New Orleans also began a public EV charging program in partnership with the City of New Orleans. Currently, EV chargers exist at 25 locations throughout the city.