Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge
As New Jersey prepares for a second round of funding for town center microgrids, some worry that the microgrids may never see the light of day.
The problem? The projects need an infusion of private money to go forward. But state rules make it difficult for government to partner with private industry on energy projects.
Town center microgrids are to New Jersey what community microgrids are in other states — generally complex projects designed to electrify multiple critical facilities, such as fire stations, hospitals, and wastewater treatment plants, during a power outage.
Still smarting from the onslaught of SuperStorm Sandy in 2012, the state allotted more than $2 million in 2017 to 13 town center microgrids chosen via a competitive application. The communities used the money for feasibility studies and now the state is preparing to announce a second round of funding for engineering studies.
But for the communities to move into development and construction, they need an infusion of private capital.