Dominion Energy has announced a plan to help replace diesel buses with electric ones in its service area of Virginia.

RICHMOND — The state’s largest utility is launching an initiative to provide electric school buses to some school districts in Virginia.

Dominion Energy said Thursday those electric buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save school districts money.

Dominion says the initial phase of the program aims to put 50 electric buses in its Virginia service territory by the end of 2020.

The company hopes to expand the program with state approval to bring 1,000 electric school buses online by 2025.

Dominion provides electricity in the most populated parts of Virginia, including Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads. Most of Southwest Virginia is in the service territory of Appalachian Power Co., but Dominion does serve parts of Botetourt and Alleghany counties.

Dominion said it hopes to eventually replace all diesel buses. It said replacing one is like taking 5.2 cars off the road.

The company said bus manufacturers will be able to submit bids to build the buses. School districts will be able express interest in participating in the program.

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