Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Jersey plans storm resilient power grid

Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announce "NJ TransitGrid" to make the state's infrastructure more resilient for future disasters while at the Secaucus Train Station in Secaucus, N.J. on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announce "NJ TransitGrid" to make the state's infrastructure more resilient for future disasters while at the Secaucus Train Station in Secaucus, N.J. on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Gov. Christie's Office/Tim Larsen

The state of New Jersey is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy to design NJ TransitGrid, a first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid capable of supplying highly-reliable power during storms or other times when the traditional centralized grid is compromised.

 

As it pertains to public transportation, a fully-resilient baseload-powered electric infrastructure designed to fortify the public transportation network can supply highly-reliable power during storms or other times when the traditional centralized grid is compromised. A power network of this kind would not only alleviate the social and economic impact of a major transit infrastructure-related power disruption but is also critical to facilitate emergency evacuation-related activities. This has particular value to New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), which is dependent on outside grids to keep hundreds of thousands of customers on the move each day.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the United States Department of Energy, NJ Transit and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to collaborate with Sandia National Laboratories to study and design a ground-breaking microgrid, entitled the NJ Transitgrid.

The proposed NJ Transitgrid could potentially increase the resiliency and reliability of NJ Transit's electrical systems. This could be accomplished via the design, construction and operation of self-generation power facilities; the design, construction and operation of a new, dedicated power grid; the distribution of self-generated power to NJ Transit's overhead catenary wire network and the distribution of self-generated power to key NJ Transit facilities.

NJ Transit could make use of existing railroad rights-of-way to transmit this power between the generation site(s), facilities and rail lines in Jersey City, Kearny, Secaucus, Hoboken, Harrison and Newark. Railroad facilities and lines in these communities represent the most crucial, and the most vulnerable corridor within the agency's rail system. It is anticipated that such a power network could potentially increase the resiliency and reliability of NJ Transit's electrical systems.

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