RenewableenergyRenewableenergy

Most of us have seen an electric vehicle but few have seen an electric school bus. For residents of Kremmling, Colo., that is about to change.

The West Grand School District plans to add an electric school bus to its fleet – a 78-passenger Bluebird All American with a 120-mile range.

The district is getting the bus at no cost; it’s being funded by the state and the local and regional electric providers.

Colorado’s Regional Air Quality Council provided a grant of more than $250,000. The remaining funds came from Mountain Parks Electric, a not-for-profit electric cooperative, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the not-for-profit power provider for Mountain Parks Electric.

“We are thrilled to see the school district go electric,” said Mountain Parks Electric General Manager Mark Johnston. “Mountain Parks Electric’s power supply is becoming increasingly renewable. And one of the best ways to put that renewable energy to work is to replace fossil fuels with electric alternatives, like this school bus.”

The school district expects to receive its new bus in August – just in time to energize the back-to-school season.

The electric grid was never designed to handle the fluctuation in energy that happens when more renewable energy sources are added to the equation.

CPR reports that “much of the national grid is old, some of it by more than 100 years, and splintered into local and regional sections that don’t connect. Early morning solar energy generated in New York can’t efficiently move west to coffee machines and laptops in Colorado or California.”

That means massive investments are needed to update this far-flung technology.

Read more about Colorado’s electric grid and what it will need to adapt to more renewables.

Communities and businesses across the world are getting more of their energy from renewable sources, such as wind, water and solar. For consumers, there’s a lot of new information to digest in this rapidly changing field.

CNBC has broken down the most important words to know in the renewable energy conversation.

A couple examples:

Geothermal: Heat from below the Earth’s surface that can be used to produce renewable energy.

Hydropower: Energy that comes from the flow of water; it’s the world’s largest source of renewable electricity.

Read more key terms from this article.

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