In the Australian city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales (NSW), Transit Systems and their partners Zenobē and TransGrid have completed the construction of Australia’s largest electrified bus depot. The NSW State Government has also approved $3 billion to fund the next stage of Zero Emission Buses (ZEBS) and new charging infrastructure.
Currently, 55 electric buses are operational at the Leichhardt Bus Depot in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt. The newly completed electric bus depot boasts a large solar array, base load metering, onsite energy storage system, grid connection and, of course, charging for electric buses.
A 1.25MW/2.5MWh Tesla battery system has been commissioned to support the bus charging, shift solar power for charging and minimise impacts on the local grid. The rooftop solar array provides 388kW of green onsite power generation. Buses are charged with 5 x 120kW DC fast chargers and 31 x AC 80kW Chargers. Smart Charging software that monitors buses, charging rates, solar consumption, battery charge /discharge and overall depot electricity energy flows.
Transit Systems COO Greg Balkin said: “This is by far Australia’s largest electrified depot and paves the way for Transport for NSW to reach their target and electrify all 8,000 buses across the network, using the latest technology.” Balkin went on the thank project partners Zenobē and TransGrid, as well as Transport for NSW, ARENA and CEFC for their support. Zenobe Energy recently expanded from the UK to the Antipodean region into the neighbouring New Zealand market. “We look forward to announcing our next electrification project, taking all of our experience and learnings from this project into the future,” he said.
More electric bus charging infrastructure to come
The $3 billion AUD that has now been approved by the NSW state government to fund the next stage of Zero Emission Buses (ZEBS) and new charging infrastructure will also see more than 12,00 new buses will be manufactured under the ZEBS program. The funding will also allow 11 existing depots across Sydney to be converted for electric charging (including Leichhardt) as well as a completely new depot constructed at Macquarie Park.
The funding is part of a greater plan to completely electrify the state’s entire fleet of buses. As announced in 2019, the NSW Government is aiming to transition the entire bus fleet of more than 8000 buses to zero emissions technology by 2035 in Greater Sydney, Outer Metro regions by 2040 and regional NSW by 2047.
Earlier this year, we reported that the Western Sydney-based company Custom Denning was awarded a contract to design, manufacture and assembly 79 new electric buses to operate in Sydney. In June 2022, the NSW government announced it will invest $218.9 million over the next seven years to start decarbonising the bus fleet. The funding has been confirmed as part of the 2022-23 state budget and defines a gradual transition that will need bolstering until the completion envisioned in 2047.