The California Energy Commission will award up to $94 million to replace aging school buses with alternative-fuel school buses. File photo

The California Energy Commission will award up to $94 million to replace aging school buses with alternative-fuel school buses. File photo

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A state agency is making $94 million in grant funds available for the replacement of aging school buses with alternative-fuel buses.

The California Energy Commission’s School Bus Replacement Program will award up to $78.7 million to replace old buses, according to a news release from CalStart, an organization that supports clean transportation technology.

The Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program is also offering up to $13 million in grant funds for electric vehicle infrastructure and $2.4 million in grant funds for compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling infrastructure for the replacement school buses.

Proposed projects must be for the purchase of new electric or CNG school buses, and replaced diesel buses must be scrapped and removed from service.

Funding is available for public school districts and county offices of education that operate the oldest buses in California, according to the news release from CalStart. Priority consideration will be given to school buses that operate in disadvantaged communities and to public school districts and county offices of education that have a majority of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

The Energy Commission is emphasizing electric school buses as the preferred type of bus replacement under California Senate Bill 110, the Clean Energy Jobs Act. As an incentive, the agency is planning to provide up to $60,000 per awarded bus for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

School districts and counties of education applying for a CNG replacement bus may also be eligible for up to $500,000 per applicant for CNG fueling infrastructure.

The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 20. More details about the grant are available here.

The state's South Coast Air Quality Management District also recently awarded over $35 million to 42 school districts in Southern California to replace a total of 206 pre-1994 diesel school buses with CNG and propane buses.
 

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