NFTA Goes Electric

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) had a fleet of mostly diesel, hybrid diesel, and CNG buses, and wanted to reduce carbon emissions by adding electric vehicles. To assess its depots, the agency hired the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and awarded PISO the design and build of the first phase of the project, which included a new substation to bring power into the facility.

Breaking Ground

NFTA needed to transition its fleet of 120 diesel and hybrid buses at a depot near downtown Buffalo to electric over the next 12 years. However, the electrical load to charge that many buses was substantial and required significant electrical upgrades to the facility.

Site Work

PISO developed an electrical distribution plan that accommodates the entire depot and phase 1 installation, which included research and development of overhead pantograph charging and substation construction.

Post Install

PISO designed and built a 3.5MW substation to connect to National Grid’s 23kV infrastructure, which can accommodate the first half of the depot and is easily upgradable to 7MW for the entire depot. Additionally, PISO installed nine overhead pantograph chargers and one cabled charger for the first ten buses.

Finished Product

All chargers have been successfully installed and commissioned, and NFTA is currently testing and charging its buses, with plans to have them in service this year. PISO was awarded a contract for phase 2, which includes the installation of 27 additional pantograph chargers in conjunction with 15 new buses on order. This project helped put Buffalo at the forefront of bus electrification nationally.

Moreover, PISO commissioned the first R&D unit of a new product line of lightweight pantograph units for ABB, and the first nine production units are already installed.

If you’re looking to bring your EV infrastructure project to life, contact the experts at PISO and join the electric revolution.