NJ Transit Receives Federal Funding for Microgrid Project

Governor Christie of New Jersey recently announced that NJ Transit will receive $1.276 billion in federal monies to fund five projects designed to harden NJ Transit’s infrastructure. The federal funding was awarded by the Federal Transit Administration as part of a competitive regional competition that included 13 states vying for $3 billion in total available funding. One of the five projects receiving funding is a microgrid application designed to enhance the energy resilience and harden key NJ Ttransit assets.

Originally announced by Governor Christie and United States Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in August 2013, NJ Transitgrid is intended to serve as a first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid capable of supplying power during storms or other times when the centralized power grid is compromised.

The system is designed to incorporate renewable energy, distributed generation, and other technologies to provide resilient power to key NJ transit stations, maintenance facilities, bus garages, and other buildings. Through a microgrid design, Transitgrid is also intended to provide resilient electric traction power to allow NJ transit trains on critical corridors, including portions of the Northeast Corridor, to continue to operate when the traditional grid fails.

The award also includes the resilient hardening and raising of key substations, including AMTRAK’s Substations 41 and 42, which serve critical functions and will better allow the region’s transit network to withstand, and recover from, extreme weather events. As part of the grant, NJ Transit will purchase electric, non-revenue vehicles to maximize energy storage.

The design of NJ Transitgrid resulted through a unique “technology transfer” partnership led by the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, NJ Transit, and the U.S. Department of Energy. USDOE’s Sandia National Laboratories was charged with the conceptual design of the microgrid and that effort was also supported by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and other public and private stakeholders, including the Environmental Defense Fund.

In February 2014, Governor Christie announced the creation of a $200 million New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank to fund projects that would ensure a highly reliable power supply to critical public facilities such as water and wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, shelters, emergency response networks in the event the larger electrical grid fails.

Source: NJ Transit