VTA scores big state grant

VTA buses like these will be replaced by electric buses beginning this summer. — Sam Moore

The Vineyard Transit Authority has been awarded a $545,000 grant as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Energy Storage Initiative, Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) program.

The funding will help create additional energy storage for the six electric buses coming to the VTA next summer.

“The VTA is the first transit agency in Massachusetts that has committed to going all-electric,” VTA administrator Angie Grant told The Times on Monday. “This grant, along with the ‘LoNo’ [low or no-emission] grants we were awarded in September, will have a big impact in a short period of time. Six out of 32 buses is a significant number.”

The Vineyard was one of 25 communities that were awarded grants by the ACES program, which is intended to increase the commonwealth’s energy-storage economy.

The VTA is on a roll when it comes to winning state grants. In September the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced that it and the VTA were jointly awarded a $1.2 million grant for LoNo transit buses by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).