This hurricane-hit Caribbean community has an innovative new way to keep the lights on

Film by Leslie Von Pless

Caribbean islands contribute just a fraction of a percent of global climate pollution, yet they are among the hardest hit by climate impacts, including more intense hurricanes. 

At the Victory Center, a special needs school in St. John’s, Antigua, Environmental Defense Fund and the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Environment are working together to see how an electric school bus can help the school stay up and running, even if a hurricane knocks out the power. 

“If schools are closed for an extended period of time, a lot of our students can really struggle,” says Victory Center principal Kelly Hedges. “It’s important to get the power back on so they can return to normalcy as quickly as possible.” 

When equipped with two-way chargers, large electric vehicles like trucks and buses become mobile battery packs. They can plug directly into a building, such as a school, hospital or emergency shelter, and provide enough power to keep the lights on and run critical equipment.

In places that are vulnerable to power outages, bidirectional charging could be a lifeline for local communities. 

Hope for a warming planet

Get the latest Vital Signs stories delivered to your inbox

Want more great environmental stories?

Donate to Environmental Defense Fund and get Solutions, EDF's members-only magazine, delivered to your home.