- New Jersey will use $200 million from its Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery allocation to establish an Energy Resilience Bank (ERB) aimed at leveraging public and private capital and the authority of the state to fund energy infrastructure projects that provide cleaner, more reliable sources of electricity.
- The ERB will support distributed energy resources at critical facilities, beginning with water and wastewater treatment plants, because in the wake of Superstorm Sandy New Jersey officials realized only 7% of the state’s vital water supply capacity was capable of functioning without grid power but could easily draw on combined heat and power technology.
- ERB-backed funding will overcome otherwise prohibitively high upfront costs to develop fuel cells, combined heat and power, resilient solar and other distributed generation, microgrids, smart grid technologies, and energy storage for hospitals, emergency response centers, town centers, transit networks and regional high schools designated as disaster shelters.
New York’s Green Bank, expected to eventually have a capitalization of $1 billion, will fund microgrids, particularly CHP-based microgrids, and similar disaster-resilient technologies.
Connecticut has one of the most advanced state-led microgrid pilot programs, now being implemented with local utilities and, reflecting the impact of lessons learned from Sandy, the northeast is building the largest share of community microgrids of any U.S. region.
New Jersey’s updated energy plan calls for microgrids to link critical facilities during a Sandy-like disaster and the state, with the U.S. DOE, is already working on the NJ TransitGrid microgrid, which will provide critical power to part of the NJ Transit and Amtrak systems.
A guide to New Jersey’s ERB program funds, outlining the parameters for winning grants and loans, will be issued by the end of summer.