The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has decided to implement 13 new microgrids statewide in order to maximize their resilience in the face of catastrophic weather.
Superstorm Sandy showed the Northeast that the focus of a major hurricane is no longer limited to the tropics. New Jersey saw this firsthand, and recently took a giant step to become more resilient.
Microgrids allow critical portions of a city to become independent of the main electrical grid, keeping them up and running in the event of a weather-induced blackout. Through the existing Veolia Trenton Thermal Energy Network (TEDN), New Jersey will use Trenton’s combined heat and power (CHP) system to implement a series of microgrids that localize various districts' heat and electricity generation.
Trenton’s CHP plant currently provides 13,000 tons of chilled water and more than 132,000 pounds per hour of steam/hot water throughout the city.
“Veolia is proud to support the state’s resiliency efforts and join in partnership to develop and maintain a microgrid that provides dependable power to critical buildings in the event of extreme weather or other disaster,” said John Gibson, president and COO of Veolia North America’s Municipal & Commercial Business. “Partnerships of this nature allow the state to focus on its core business of providing services to residents while Veolia delivers utility infrastructure and resiliency.”
With an operations hub in the state capital, 12 other cities and counties have received funding for similar microgrids to protect their communities. Together, they’re a testament to how cities of all backgrounds can adapt to achieve sustainability.