- The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has proposed doubling the state's investment in storage under its Clean Energy Program to $6 million.
- The higher funding levels are a response to strong storms in recent years that have knocked out power to both central power stations and distributed renewables, most of which, without storage, cannot operate without access to the grid.
- New Jersey is using energy storage to help meet its renewable targets, and earlier this year regulators approved more than a dozen behind-the-meter projects totaling nearly 9 MW in capacity to boost resiliency at facilities, mostly schools, considered critical for emergencies.
New Jersey is proposing to double the $3 million invested this year in energy storage, both to bolster renewables integration and to keep critical facilities running in the wake of a large storm. As the state learned in the wake up 2012's Hurricane Sandy, its more than 35,000 renewable facilities mostly required grid power to actually operate.
In March, the BPU approved 13 projects under the Renewable Electric Storage Incentive program, which requires storage projects to be integrated with renewable sources. Many states in the Northeast are bolstering investment in energy storage following the impact's of Sandy. Massachusetts awarded over $25 million for microgrid projects, some with storage, and just recently launched a $10 million initiative to examine how energy storage can benefit the state and what regulatory changes would be needed to ensure its growth. Connecticut will spend $3 million for a microgrid project that includes storage as well.
New Jersey is still trying to figure out what works for it, the NJ Spotlight reports. “The profile of a number of renewable-energy projects offers the opportunity for storage,’’ said Scott Hunter, renewable energy program administrator for the Office of Clean Energy. “We’re on a steep learning curve right now."