As he spoke to oil and gas executives at the IHS Energy CERAWeek conference, Secretary Moniz’s focus was on the nation’s aging energy infrastructure—and everything that should be done to modernize it amid a domestic energy revolution, climate change, and evolving business models. Moniz spoke to the assembled executives about the just-released QER and the changing face of domestic energy.
“A good example of the way you’d like to see things work is in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy. Obviously, New Jersey got hammered. Among the problems they had was that (its) electrified transport corridor—trains—got taken out. It created a huge problem, including safety issues, because you couldn’t move through this critical corridor. And historically the approach then, including federal assistance constraints, is that you rebuild the way it was.
I give credit to New Jersey for saying it doesn’t make any sense, let’s build in a more resilient way. So we cost-shared, 50:50, the development of a concept to put that system into a larger microgrid, with distributed generation in the 50–80 megawatt reaches, so it’s pretty big, but (with) the ability to island it if there was a major storm, so you could maintain the corridor (and) the operation.
One of our national laboratories, Sandia, did that design with New Jersey, and then that became the core of what proved to be a successful proposal for hundreds of billions of dollars to the Department of Transportation to implement the project.
That’s kind of the model in the back of our heads about these state energy assurance planning grants [proposed in the QER].”
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