N.J. Board of Public Utilities Highlights Proposed Middletown Township Town Center Microgrid
Middletown explores benefits of independent energy production as Hurricane Harvey continues destruction in gulf
MIDDLETOWN TWP., N.J. - August 30, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Today, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) President Richard S. Mroz and Middletown Township Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger highlighted the Board's approval of Middletown Township's application for a Town Center Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Microgrid feasibility study.
The Middletown proposed microgrid has the largest geographic spread of any of the 13 microgrid projects. The diameter of the project area is roughly 3.5 miles spanning from the NY Waterways Ferry Terminal to the Middletown Public Works and Fast Fill Natural Gas Station. The project area overlaps with the Army Corps' ongoing $110 Million Dollar Federal Flood Control Project with the Naval Weapons Station Earle.
"Superstorm Sandy and the incredible devastation that continues in the gulf coast by Hurricane Harvey should serve as solemn reminders that while we have advanced distribution automation, harden the distribution system and improved preparedness we still need to address local energy resiliency systems like advanced microgrids to complete the resiliency circle to help us prepare for the next emergency," said President Mroz.
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 Middletown 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.
"Middletown Township was among the most devastated by Superstorm Sandy. We, as coastal towns know first-hand the critical importance of having an independent energy source and developing a means of minimizing power outages in both scale and duration," said Middletown Township Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger.
Middletown Twp. Committeeman Tony Fiore, Middletown Twp. Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, NJBPU Pres. Richard S. Mroz, Middletown Twp. Administrator Anthony Mercantante and Dennis Blazak, Community plans Liaison Officer at the Naval Weapons Station Earle
The critical facilities include:
- NWS Earle Waterfront Administrative Area
- Township of Middletown Sewage Authority (TOMSA)
- NY Waterways Ferry Terminal
- Middletown Public Works and CNG Fueling Facilities
- Middletown Municipal Complex
- Public Schools (Bayshore Middle School, Leonardo Elementary School, Bayview Elementary School)
- Monmouth County Highway Department
- Middletown Fire Stations 3, 4 and 7
- Monmouth County Bayshore Outfall Authority
One of the unique aspects of this project is it could also supply energy to the NY Waterways Ferry Terminal on the Jersey side in helping to transport New Jersey residents back to the Garden State in the event of an emergency.
There are seven FEMA category IV designated facilities and six FEMA category III facilities that can provide shelter in an emergency. The proposed project encompasses an area that is home to 19 public facilities, including 16 which are considered critical as per FEMA Categorical Classification Standards. The diameter of the project area is roughly 3.5 miles spanning from the NY Waterways Ferry Terminal to the Middletown Public Works and Fast Fill Natural Gas Station. The average distance between all 18 individual facilities is .49 miles.
The estimated time frame to complete the feasibility study is 12 months. The total incentive amount is $150,000.
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 13 applications for feasibility studies is below: www.state.nj.us/bpu/newsroom/announcements/pdf/20170630_MicrogridFeasibilityStudies.pdf
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