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New Jersey Offers Funding for
> THE NEW JERSEY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES (BPU) IS
circulating a draft petition to be used by applicants for up to $1
million in funding for community microgrids in the state.
Working with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the
BPU identified 24 communities in 17 state municipalities that
were hit the hardest by Superstorm Sandy and could benefit
from the microgrids.
The state already has about 45 microgrids, most which are on
college campuses or are single-building microgrids with a single
type of distributed energy, usually natural gas combined heat
and power (CHP) units.
The BPU will offer up to $200,000 per feasibility study for
five to 10 community microgrids.
To qualify for consideration, applications must include the
approximate sizes of the projects, building square footages and
Federal Emergency Management Agency classifications.
In addition, the proposed microgrids must serve critical
facilities, such as hospitals, police and emergency shelters. In the
case of these specific microgrids, they will be expected to serve
clustered critical facilities—preferably those within a radius of
less than a mile.
Buildings that could potentially be connected to microgrids
in these communities would be evaluated for their electric and
heat requirements, which would allow for the use of CHP units
as part of the microgrids.
In addition, the microgrids must be able to cost-effectively
operate in both grid-connected and “island” mode.
“[Distributed generation] technologies generate power
locally, minimize line losses, allow for greater cost control, and
enable islanding and ‘black start’ capabilities,” the BPU report
states. “Together, these benefits can provide New Jersey with
reliable and resilient energy to keep the lights on during ‘blue
sky’ days and emergencies alike.”