In late August, DOE Secretary Moniz and New Jersey Governor Christie signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) over grid modernization, which establishes a relationship between the U.S. Department of Energy, New Jersey Transit Corporation, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to explore the design, possible construction, and future implementation of an advanced microgrid system (“NJ Transit FutureGrid”) to provide continuous energy reliability and resiliency for NJ Transit’s commuter operations.
The DOE, NJ Transit, and the BPU will collaborate with Sandia to study the energy needs of NJ Transit’s commuter operations in the Northeast region of the State that provide critical interconnections between New Jersey communities and New York City, and that form part of the larger Northeast Corridor that Amtrak utilizes to provide rail service between Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts.
Sandia will undertake a conceptual design study of an advanced microgrid system to support NJ Transit’s operations. The new microgrid system that will be resilient to extreme events. Extreme events are those that present themselves beyond the traditional operation and planning environment and include, for example: hurricanes, ice storms, or terrorist events.
In performing this work, Sandia will employ its Energy Surety Design Methodology (ESDM), a quantitative, risk-based assessment approach developed to help communities evaluate regional critical and priority energy needs and identify advanced solutions to attain energy system performance goals. This effort is a unique combination of traditional power-grid analysis methods and new risk analysis research related to identifying critical network elements that will support the decision process. At the core of this methodology is the use of advanced smart-grid technologies and the integration of distributed energy resources such as backup generators, photovoltaics, and storage. Previous ESDM applications have shown enhanced reliability and resiliency, improved integration of renewable and distributed energy, and cost-effectiveness.