New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
For Immediate Release: Contact:
August 21, 2017 Susanne LaFrankie
J. Gregory Reinert
John R. Hagerty
Mayor’s Office of Communications
N.J. Board of Public Utilities Highlights Proposed
Woodbridge Town Center Microgrid
-Proposed microgrid could include use of fuel cells and solar energy to power critical facilities improving storm resiliency-
(l-r) BPU Commissioner Upendra Chivukula; Caroline Ehrlich, Chief-of-Staff/Executive Director, Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency; NJBPU Commissioner Richard S. Mroz; Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac; Patrick Kenny, Director, Woodbridge Township Office of Emergency Management; Joseph Nisky, Deputy Director, Woodbridge Police Department; Daniel Harris, President, Woodbridge Township Board of Education; Adam Zellner, Greener by Design.
WOODBRIDGE TWP., N.J. – Today, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) President Richard S. Mroz, Board Commissioner Upendra Chivukula and Woodbridge Township Mayor John E. McCormac highlighted the Board’s approval of Woodbridge Township’s application for a Town Center Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Microgrid feasibility study. Woodbridge proposed microgrid would include use of fuel cells and solar energy to power critical facilities improving storm resiliency. Woodbridge’s proposed microgrid is one of 13 such town center microgrids that the Board approved for funding of feasibility studies.
The proposed projects are evidence that The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) is furthering the State Energy Master Plan’s (EMP) priorities of improving energy resiliency and increasing the use of DER microgrid technologies.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Christie Administration made it a priority to improve energy resiliency and the emergency preparedness and response of the utility companies. Therefore, the 2015 EMP Update contained a new section on hardening and improving utility infrastructure resiliency which supports the establishment of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) such as microgrids to improve the grid’s resiliency and reliability in the event of a major emergency. The EMP Update also directed the Board to continue its work with the utility companies, local, state and federal governments, and other strategic partners to identify, design and implement Town Center DER microgrids to power critical facilities and services across the state.
“The Christie Administration continues to receive enthusiastic support for microgrid technology from the Board, municipalities and townships from across the state,” said Richard S. Mroz President of the NJBPU. “These grid independent energy sources will improve energy resiliency and reliability keeping critical services operational during blackouts.”
Woodbridge Township submitted an application for a feasibility study for a Woodbridge Township Advanced Micro grid (WAM) with core partners including the Woodbridge School District, Woodbridge Housing Authority and a number of private sector entities.
- The Woodbridge Township Microgrid would connect private entities and services and critical facilities within the microgrid, offering the benefits of allowing those facilities to remain operational while the power grid is down and providing increased energy efficiency for those facilities.
- “Almost immediately after Superstorm Sandy, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, (NJBPU) undertook the mission assisting municipalities to explore alternative energy and provide funding to help modernize, harden and power local infrastructures,” said Woodbridge Township Mayor John E. McCormac. We welcome NJBPU President Mroz to Woodbridge and gratefully accept the $150,000 grant to help “power-up” our future Town Centered Advanced Microgrid.”
- According to Woodbridge’s applications, the critical facilities include:
- Woodbridge Town Hall/Police building
- Woodbridge Fire Department building
- Stern Tower Senior Living
- Adams Tower Senior Living
- Finn Tower Senior Living
- Woodbridge Pump Station
- Ross Street Elementary School
- Mawbey Street Elementary School
- Woodbridge Middle School
The study will evaluate new power capacity which may include fuel cells, solar and dispatchable generation such as combined heat and power (“CHP”) and other new electric infrastructure to allow the proposed microgrid to operate during normal and emergency conditions.
The estimated timeframe to complete the feasibility study is 12 months. The total incentive amount is $150,000 for the Township of Woodbridge.
The Board established a Town Center Distributed Energy Resource Microgrid Feasibility Study program with a budget of $1 million. However, on June 30, 2017, after receiving and evaluating 13 applications for proposed microgrids and the potential benefits offered, the Board approved a budget modification to fund all 13 applications at a total cost of $2,052,480. The program was developed to provide incentives for local and state government agencies to study the feasibility of Town Center DER microgrids. The Board approved funding for applications submitted by: Atlantic City, Camden County, Cape May County MUA, Galloway Township, Highland Park, Hoboken, Hudson County, Middletown Township, Montclair Township, Neptune Township, Paterson, Woodbridge Township,
Information regarding the board’s approval of the l3 applications for feasibility studies is below: http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/newsroom/announcements/pdf/20170630_MicrogridFeasibilityStudies.pdf