The Energy Department on August 26 announced that it will partner with the State of New Jersey, NJ Transit, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to assess NJ Transit’s energy needs and help develop a conceptual design of an advanced microgrid system. Under this partnership, the Energy Department’s Sandia National Laboratories will assist NJ Transit in its efforts to enhance the reliability and resiliency of electricity used for its rail and system operations.
The NJ Transit system is a critical transportation corridor and evacuation route for Manhattan. Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and other natural disasters have exposed the vulnerability of the transit system to power outages. Through this agreement, the Energy Department and Sandia National Laboratories will work with NJ Transit and the Board of Public Utilities to design a dynamic microgrid to power the transit system between Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken as well as critical stations and maintenance facilities. This project will make it easier to get the power back on after a major disaster and help improve public safety throughout the region.
Sandia National Laboratories has already designed advanced microgrids that are up and running at more than 20 military bases across the country. This partnership will utilize a quantitative risk-based assessment tool, called the Energy Surety Design Methodology, that was developed at Sandia National Laboratories and allows communities to evaluate their regional energy needs, identify advanced solutions to improve the reliability and resiliency of their electric grids, and understand the most cost-effective strategies for system upgrades. At the core of this methodology is the use of advanced smart grid technologies and the integration of distributed energy resources such as backup generators, wind generation, photovoltaics, and storage. See the Energy Department press release .