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STATE BANKS ON ENERGY RESILIENCY TO KEEP CRITICAL FACILITIES UP AND RUNNING

Wednesday, July 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
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STATE BANKS ON ENERGY RESILIENCY TO KEEP CRITICAL FACILITIES UP AND RUNNING

NJspotlight.com (07/09/14)

With $200 million in hand from the federal government, the state is beginning to frame the outlines of a new program to help critical facilities remain up and running in the wake of extreme storms, like Hurricane Sandy. The program, dubbed the Energy Resiliency Bank, is designed to keep water and wastewater treatment plants, and many other facilities, running on their own power sources -- even if the traditional power grid suffers widespread outages, which occurred during Sandy. The problems caused by the power outages led the Christie administration to propose the bank, a vehicle it hoped would make vulnerable facilities more resilient when future storms struck New Jersey.

Those efforts were boosted by a $200 million grant from the federal government issued in late May. Under a plan developed by the state Board of Public Utilities, water and wastewater facilities -- as well as hospitals -- would be eligible for funding in the first round of distribution of funds. The financing would include grants, low-interest loans, and principal forgiveness under certain conditions, according to a draft proposal developed by the state. The proposal also aims to encourage private developers to come up with ways to help fund the projects. The money would be used to develop distributed generation, renewable-energy sources, and other technologies that will continue to deliver electricity even if the power grid fails. Other projects include so-called combined heat and power (CHP) plants, fuel cells, and micro-turbines. Backup emergency generators will not qualify for funding under the draft proposal.

 


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