MIDDLETOWN, NJ –Middletown Township announced today that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has awarded the township a $150,000 grant for a Microgrid Phase 1 Feasibility Study.
The Feasibility Study will bring together highly-experienced and qualified experts including architects, engineers, and designers to study the feasibility for a DER (Distributed Energy Resource) microgrid solution for Middletown. The study will include six project tasks that will be conducted over the next year to help identify the most cost-effective, resilient, and reliable energy system. A microgrid is an energy resource that can act with, or independently from, the overall electric grid. Thus, should power fail, the microgrid can provide continued power to a geographically defined area.
Middletown is home to 67,000 residents, countless critical facilities, as well as private, municipal, county, state, and federal resources, including military. Through this study, the township will be able to present a plan that will help protect public services, wastewater management, flood control infrastructure, transportation, evacuation routes, local and regional emergency response, marine transportation, and federal defense infrastructure.
“We are looking forward to developing new working relationships in the interest of reaching goals such as improving local energy delivery for our town’s population, as well as providing for local and regional reliability during emergency response scenarios,” said Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D.
Rather than a single technology-specific design solution for the Middletown program, there will be alternative design approaches developed that include a mix of technologies and models, whose attributes, costs, and implementation impacts will be directly contrasted to get the best results, based on data-driven regulatory reform. The team, which will include a partnership with the United States Navy, will work with local utilities to ensure that the microgrid operates as a source of resilient utility and energy supply, with respect to public safety and security, according to Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante.