Energy Department and State of New Jersey to develop microgrid for state’s transit system


Governor Chris
Christie, New
Secuacus, NJ, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 29, 2013 – The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) is to partner with the State of New Jersey, the state’s public transportation corporation NJ Transit and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to assess NJ Transit’s energy needs and help develop a conceptual design of an advanced microgrid system to enhance the reliability and resiliency of electricity used for its rail and system operations.   

The NJ Transit system is a critical transportation corridor and evacuation route for Manhattan. Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and other natural disasters have exposed the vulnerability of the transit system to power outages.

“As we rebuild New Jersey from Superstorm Sandy, I am committed to making our state stronger and more resilient. NJ TRANSITGRID is an important step in that process,” said Governor Chris Christie. “This first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid will supply highly reliable power during storms, and help keep our public transportation systems running during natural times of disaster, which is critical not only to our economy, but also emergency and evacuation-related activities.”

Through this agreement, the Energy Department and Sandia National Laboratories will work with NJ Transit and the Board of Public Utilities to design a dynamic microgrid to power the transit system between Newark and Jersey City and Hoboken as well as critical stations and maintenance facilities. This project will make it easier to get the power back on after a major disaster – and it will also help improve public safety throughout the region.

Sandia National Laboratories has already designed advanced microgrids that are up and running at more than 20 military bases across the country. This partnership will utilize a quantitative risk-based assessment tool, entitled the Energy Surety Design Methodology (ESDM), that was developed at Sandia National Laboratories and allows communities to evaluate their regional energy needs, identify advanced solutions to improve the reliability and resiliency of their electric grids, and understand the most cost-effective strategies for system upgrades.

At the core of this methodology is the use of advanced smart grid technologies and the integration of distributed energy resources such as backup generators, wind generation, photovoltaics, and storage. Previous applications of the ESDM have shown enhanced reliability and resiliency, improved integration of renewable and distributed energy, and cost effectiveness.