Town of Arlington and PowerOptions Receive Clean Transportation Grant

By Liam Sullivan

Leveraging a Consortium to Lower Costs for Electrifying School Buses

PowerOptions and the Town of Arlington are pleased to announce a new partnership and the award of a $200,000 grant to bring cleaner transportation to the Commonwealth. The grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Accelerating Clean Transportation Now (ACTNow) program will promote a group procurement of electric school buses for the Town and other PowerOptions consortium members. As part of the project, PowerOptions and Arlington are planning to retrofit or replace an existing diesel school bus owned by the Town with an all-electric drivetrain.

“In our role as trusted energy advisor to the Town of Arlington, we develop strategies for saving energy costs and sustainability,” said PowerOptions President & CEO Heather Takle.  “We are excited to partner with the Town on this project to help them reach ambitious carbon reduction goals and accelerate the adoption of EV school buses in fleets across Massachusetts and beyond.”

“We are starting with this first bus. If the project produces the expected results, Arlington has the potential to see significantly reduced costs of ownership for our entire fleet of school buses, while also making the air cleaner and achieving our sustainability goals,” said Arlington School Superintendent Kathleen Bodie. Adam Chapdelaine, Arlington’s Town Manager echoed Dr. Bodie’s thoughts. “This project is an exciting next step in our efforts to electrify the Town’s vehicle fleet. This will be the Town’s first all-electric heavy-duty vehicle, which is an important milestone,” he said.

The Town of Arlington and PowerOptions have been partners since 2015, when the Town became a member of the PowerOptions consortium. Their membership allows them to rely on the PowerOptions programs and team to help meet the Town’s energy goals, and the project represents the next phase of the partnership in exploring clean transportation together.

The goal of the ACTNow project and PowerOptions-Arlington partnership is to bring down the total cost of ownership for electric buses and fleet vehicles using a group procurement model, which will include third party contracts solicited through a competitive RFP process for equipment, vehicle charging, maintenance, and potentially financing. “By leveraging the buying power of our 450 members, we will be able to scale electrification of our Members’ fleet vehicles through lower total costs of ownership of electric buses and other fleet vehicles over traditional diesel,” said Ms. Takle.

MassCEC’s ACTNow program supports clean transportation initiatives that help reduce the cost and advance the market for low carbon transportation technologies across the Commonwealth. The Program provides grants to applicant teams that pilot innovative, replicable clean transportation business and service delivery models. The Arlington-PowerOptions grant is one of nine awarded by MassCEC’s ACTNow program, totaling $1.4M.

About PowerOptions

Established in 1998, PowerOptions is New England’s largest non-profit consortium for energy and sustainability, helping nonprofits and the public sector achieve energy cost savings and environmental goals. With more than 450 members, we leverage our collective strength to negotiate extremely favorable energy supply and services. As a nonprofit, PowerOptions’ mission is to save our members time and money, and any nonprofit or public entity is eligible to join and benefit from programs for electricity & natural gas supply, solar & renewables, and electric transportation. For more information, go to

About MassCEC

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies, and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.

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