New Jersey Doubles Funding for Town Center Microgrids. Okays 13 Proposals

July 3, 2017
New Jersey regulators liked what they saw when they reviewed applications for town center microgrids and last week doubled the $1 million budget.

New Jersey regulators liked what they saw when local communities applied for funding to install town center microgrids. So rather than allotting $1 million as planned last week, they more than doubled the budget to $2,052,480.

A key value of microgrids is their ability to keep the lights on during storms. By Mihai Simonia/

The Board of Public Utilities granted the funds at its June 30 meeting so that the communities can undertake feasibility studies, an important step in early microgrid development.

Originally planning to select only 5 to 12 projects, the board instead approved 13 applications.

“My fellow commissioners and I are excited to get these 13 microgrid feasibility studies started as the final reports will provide great detail on options concerning designs, connections, financing options and the types of buildings to be included in a town center microgrid,” said Richard Mroz, board president.

New Jersey’s ‘town center microgrids’ are similar to what’s called community microgrids in Connecticut, New York and other states that foster their development. Town center microgrids keep crucial public services operating during a power outage.

The money will be divided among the 13 applicants, which are: Atlantic City, Camden County, Cape May County MUA, Galloways Township, Highland Park, Hoboken, Hudson County, Middletown Township, Montclair Township, Neptune Township, Paterson, Woodbridge Township, and the State of New Jersey Department of Treasury with the partners Mercer County, Mercer County Improvement Authority and Trenton.

The program sprang out of the Christie Administration’s goal to improve energy resiliency following the state’s devastating hit from Superstorm Sandy. The board voted to issue the solicitation at its Jan. 25 meeting, and began accepting proposals from local government and state agencies that own or manage critical facilities. The program was open to storm vulnerable areas.

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“As these town center microgrids are developed around the state, communities will have the power and freedom to keep critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations, water and wastewater treatment plants and buildings used to shelter residents operational and running independent of the grid during emergencies,” Mroz said.

After the feasibility studies are finished, the state expects to begin a second stage of the program, which will seek detailed engineering design.

Track news about New Jersey town center microgrids by following Microgrid Knowledge on Twitter @MicrogridNews.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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