Next generation electric bus depot for NSW

Press Release - 21 October 2021

Bus Web

Transgrid and UK energy company Zenobē Energy have entered a joint venture to power Australia’s largest electric bus pilot in Sydney.

The $40 million project, designed in close collaboration with Transit Systems, Australia’s leading Zero Emission Bus operator, will transform Transport for NSW’s Leichhardt bus depot into a next-generation electric bus depot that seamlessly integrates vehicles, chargers, solar generation and batteries with the electricity grid.

Transgrid and Zenobē will deliver and install the infrastructure to power 40 electric buses – the largest single fleet of electric buses in Australia.

Transgrid Acting CEO Brian Salter said it’s a major step forward for Sydney in achieving an electrified public transport fleet.

“Our energy system is evolving rapidly and Transgrid and its commercial arm, Lumea, are playing an important role in leading the transition to a clean energy future. Electrification of transport is an essential feature of the modern energy system and this initiative is a welcome addition to the grid-scale batteries and multipurpose energy hubs that Lumea is developing throughout Australia. We are delighted to be bringing Zenobe’s global experience and capability to Australia through this project,” he said.

Zenobē Co-Founder and Director Steven Meersman said the electric buses are able to perform a full day of operations on a single charge and can be charged overnight at the depot without having a negative impact on the grid, through the installation of batteries onsite.

“We’ve worked with Transgrid to deliver an advanced infrastructure implementation solution which combined with Zenobē’s end-to-end software will seamlessly manage the fleet charging process, as well as the resulting power requirements. Together we’re proudly showcasing what is possible when it comes to the delivery of zero emission transport and we commend Transit Systems on their commitment to producing more sustainable transport solutions,” he said.

Transgrid and Zenobē have created a joint venture for the project providing local electrical engineering, grid and bus electrification expertise, market leading software and advanced telematics as well as procurement and operation of large-scale battery, solar and EV chargers.

Executive Manager Strategy, Innovation and Technology for Transgrid Eva Hanly said the partnership with Zenobē will provide a proven industry blueprint for how this can be done effectively at scale.

“The model we’re using could be used to facilitate the roll-out of electric buses and commercial vehicles at large scale across Australia. As we plan for the energy system of the future, this project will give us the data we need to understand how electrification of transport will affect energy supply and demand patterns,” she said.

The joint venture will deploy technology already activated successfully overseas, while the contracting model is designed to reduce the risk to the operator by eliminating the upfront costs.

“Transgrid and Zenobe provide the batteries for the buses, stationary storage, depot conversion and charging infrastructure and ensure vehicles are always fully charged on time, and have the required range. We manage and take full responsibility for the electrification requirements, so the transport operator can focus on the delivery of a reliable bus service,” said Mr Meersman.

Transgrid and Zenobē have welcomed the strong support from the Federal Government for the project which has received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has also committed to provide debt finance. The project will share knowledge and performance data through ARENA’s knowledge sharing program, which will support the roll-out of electric buses across Australia.

About Transgrid:
Transgrid operates and manages the high voltage electricity transmission network in NSW and the ACT and provides innovative energy solutions for more than three million homes and businesses. Transgrid’s network is the backbone of the National Energy Market, enabling energy trading between Australia’s three largest states along the east coast and supporting the competitive wholesale electricity market to deliver safe, reliable and low cost power to customers.

About Lumea:
First established in 2017 as a business division within Transgrid, Lumea has built an industry reputation as experts in designing, delivering and operating complex projects for customers. Combining proven expertise in infrastructure and telecommunication services and commercial and technical innovation, Lumea has a portfolio of over 10GW of renewable energy generation being brought into the market and is also a leading provider of telecommunications services with a focus on regional areas, data transmission and emergency broadcast services.

About Zenobē Energy Ltd. (Zenobē)
Zenobē is a market leader in the EV bus sector. Zenobē’s turnkey solution allows operators to fully electrify fleets, offering proprietary software that provides intelligent flexible power solutions, batteries in the depot and on the bus, and a unique financing model that can minimise upfront cost. With 20% market share of the sector in the United Kingdom, Zenobē is boosting the adoption of EV vehicles and charging infrastructure. By providing operators and local councils with a full solution for a pay-per-km fee, it is helping the sector push towards a net zero future. Check the Zenobē Energy Australia website


Transgrid Media enquiries:
Jonathon Hall 0428 413 708

Zenobē Media enquiries:
Square One PR
Katie Wilke 0411 771 469