FTA exploring ways to use transit buses to generate power during natural disasters

April 13, 2022
FTA issued a NOFO for the development of power sharing standards to help communities contend with emergencies.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) aims to build community resilience through transit and one of the first steps in this effort is the issuance of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for an organization or partnership to develop standards for exportable power systems from electric and fuel cell-powered buses, which can supply electricity to community buildings, emergency shelters and hospitals during power disruptions.

The $1 million NOFO for the Bus Exportable Power Systems (BEPS) Program supports the Biden-Harris Administration's investment in America's infrastructure and commitment to support communities during emergencies, which are occurring more frequently due to climate change.

Previous FTA-supported research showed success in transforming hybrid, electric and fuel cell buses into mobile power generators. The BEPS NOFO seeks an organization or partnership to develop interoperable national standards for power generation so a variety of manufacturers' systems can use the same technology and applications for bus power generation.

"Communities and states often need options for generating power immediately after natural disasters," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "Under this program, we will advance the development of standards for exportable power systems, so that communities can take advantage of the power stored by high-tech transit buses to keep the lights on during natural disasters and other emergencies."

The BEPS program was identified by Congress as part of the 2021 Appropriations Act as a strategy to help communities and states during emergencies and natural disasters. Applications are due by June 13.

About the Author

Mass Transit Staff Report

Stories under this byline were produced through a team effort by the editorial staff of Mass Transit. 

To learn more about our team, click here

If you have a story idea, let us know by emailing [email protected]. Please review our contributor guidelines found here