There will also be 30 paid internships for students who will get the opportunity to oversee the entire project.
PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Porterville Unified school buses are getting quieter.
That's because they're slowly shifting away from diesel and moving to electric.
Assistant superintendent Brad Rohrbach says that transition is now accelerating thanks to a $13.8 million award from the Environmental Protection Agency's 'Clean School Bus Program'.
"It's really the next step in our endeavor to sustain and move forward on our sustainability and energy efforts at the district," Rohrbach said.
Director of Transportation and Sustainability Richard Tree says the 35 electric buses they will purchase with the money will help reduce the district's carbon footprint and create a model for others in the Central Valley.
"It gives us the ability to really put this new technology into service and allow other school districts to come check it out," Tree said.
The money will be used along with $14 million leveraged from state and local partners to purchase and install 40 electric charging stations, and a microgrid that has an energy storage system.
There will also be 30 paid internships for students who will get the opportunity to oversee the entire project, work with contractors and engage with the community about the changes.
"They'll have first-hand experience, be able to work with our industry partners from start to finish," Tree said.
Once the electric buses arrive, the diesel buses will be dismantled and parts will be recycled.
The changes benefit PUSD's "Striving to be 1st to 0" initiative to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030.
"It's going to provide cleaner air, it's that movement forward, I think we can all learn from it and I think our students can learn from it as well," Rohrbach said.
The plan is to have 90% of the diesel buses replaced with electric by the year 2026.