Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge
New Jersey regulators seek feedback by Dec. 13, 2019 on the second phase of the town center microgrid program, which will allot $4 million for project design.
Two years ago, in the program’s first phase, the Board of Public Utilities distributed $2 million to 13 town center microgrids for feasibility studies. Those microgrids will be eligible for the second round of funding.
The board seeks comment on funding criteria for the second phase as well as on issues being raised that could hamper development of the microgrids.
One stumbling block involves the ability of microgrids to cross utility rights of way. The board asks for comment on a New Jersey League of Municipalities assertion that municipalities can construct and operate microgrids in their own right of ways. This interpretation would ease restriction on microgrid development.
Another issue clouding the town center microgrid program involves the ability of the projects to form public-private partnerships to fund their construction. The board did not raise that issue in its request for comments, but it is playing out before the state legislature. A bill under consideration (A4535/S2958) would allow the public private partnerships.