DOE, NJBPU release resilient microgrid planning resource for local governments
The Center for Resilient Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology announces the launch of: microgrids.io, a web-based resource focused on planning and developing sustainable, resilient microgrids for local governments, local and national. Local government microgrids, also known as city center microgrids, distribute energy to a cluster of physically separated facilities, such as facilities that provide essential services during and after an emergency, within a municipality. These systems would provide a local source of generation that would allow communities to operate facilities, including government offices, police and fire operations, public housing, shelters and schools, independently of the power grid and should a power outage occur.
The site contains the results of a multi-year research project — funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities — addressing a series of critical challenges currently faced with the successful tendering and financing of local government microgrids. The new site includes: “Developing resilient microgrids for local governments”, a report by Marc Pfeiffer of the Bloustein Center for Local Government Research at Rutgers University, with support from the NJIT center for knowledge building; a series of Factsheets and webinars detailing the critical issues and challenges identified during the research project; and suggestions and resources to better understand the process of planning and financing local resilient microgrids.
The report concluded that there are examples of successful single-site and campus, critical and non-critical microgrids, but city center microgrids are much more complicated and less common. The research results suggest that the idea of a truly successful microgrid in the city center as an off-grid power supply for critical facilities remains difficult to realize.
“Microgrids in the city center are a conceptual solution to community emergency power needs for resilience and reliability, but face significant government policy-driven development hurdles,” said Pfeiffer, deputy director of Bloustein Local Government Research. Rutgers Center. “The potential for these local solutions can be found through regulatory changes, understanding their impact on tariff-based public utilities, and drafting public policies to address climate change and environmental justice communities. These challenges are significant, but not necessarily insurmountable. ”
microgrids.io was developed and is currently being maintained and updated by the Center for Resilient Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
“microgrids.io is a valuable addition to the rapidly evolving knowledge base of microgrids,” said Deane Evans, executive director of the NJIT Center for Resilient Design. “With its specific focus on local government microgrids, an area of increasing interest to communities committed to sustainability and resilience, microgrids.io provides unique insights into the promise of — and the current challenges facing — the development of this unique type of microgrid.”
News item from Rutgers University