New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy

New Jersey Community Microgrids Planning Academy

The Center for Resilient Design is in the process of completing an online educational platform to educate municipal officials and their staffs on the value and feasibility of developing resilient community microgrids in their jurisdictions. The project, funded by HUD through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is nearing completion and is expected to launch during the third quarter of 2018. The project builds on an earlier CRD study that mapped promising potential sites for resilient microgrids across New Jersey.

A microgrid is a localized power grid that serves a small network of critical electricity users – hospitals, police, fire, etc. – within a small, clearly defined geographical area. Power is generated from energy sources located within the defined geographical area. The whole system is designed to easily connect to or disconnect from the larger electrical grid so that it can operate in “grid-connected” mode during normal conditions or in “island” mode during power disruptions caused by natural hazards. New Jersey is one of the leading states in the country in promoting and supporting community microgrids.

Content for the online platform – the Community Resilience Microgrids Planning Academy – was generated through an in-depth community engagement process with the towns of Neptune and Galloway, beginning with the Mayor’s offices and then expanding to include stakeholders across each community. The lessons learned from these engagements forms the basis of the Academy curriculum and will be disseminated to Mayor’s offices and other community stakeholders after the Academy is launched.

Based on the results from Galloway and Neptune, CRD is convinced that the microgrid planning process is a unique way to catalyze community interest in the overall topic of resilience and could potentially serve as a vehicle for expanding the conversation beyond local power production to other strategies for addressing acute shocks and chronic stresses. 

RPA Assembly 2018