Chris Christie releases $25 million for microgrids, distributed generation

The administration of Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., released $25 million in allocations of federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds to 146 municipalities, counties and other government units to pursue creative and cost-effective alternatives to enhance statewide energy resilience.

The program is part of the Christie administration's efforts to rebuild infrastructure after Superstorm Sandy and is targeted at critical facilities throughout the state.

"Reliable energy is vitally important during emergencies and making the state's critical assets more resilient in the face of extreme weather events and other hazards is a central recovery goal," Christie said. "I thank our federal agency partners for continuing to work with us to collaborate with New Jersey communities on the best ways to keep the power on at essential public facilities."

The grant allocations, which range up to $734,880, can be used to support a variety of alternative energy solutions — including microgrids, solar power with energy storage and natural gas-powered on-site generators — technologies that will allow critical facilities to operate even if the power grid fails.

The energy allocations result from an ongoing collaboration between New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Energy allocations will cover a range of projects, including:

·      Retrofitting existing distributed generation (e.g., fuel cells or combined heat and power) to provide increased capacity

·      Engineering studies to design new distributed generation technologies.

·      Buying diesel, solar or natural gas-powered generators

·      Purchasing dynamic inverters and storage for existing solar panels

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