CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION TAKES STEPS TO ESTABLISH ENERGY RESILIENCE BANK: Innovative Program will Address Resilience of Critical Infrastructure and Facilities
TRENTON, N.J. – As part of the Christie Administration’s continuing efforts to minimize the potential for future major power outages and increase energy resiliency, the State today took steps to establish the New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank (ERB), the first of its kind in the nation to focus on energy resilience. Utilizing $200 million through New Jersey’s second Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation, the ERB will support the development of distributed energy resources at critical facilities throughout the state.
Today, the N.J. Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved a subrecipient agreement with the N.J. Economic Development Authority (EDA) to work jointly in the establishment and operation of the ERB; the EDA approved the subrecipient agreement on July 10. The EDA and BPU also announced the hiring of staff to fill two ERB leadership positions.
"The launch of the Energy Resilience Bank, the first of its kind in the nation to focus on resilience, is yet another effort of the Christie Administration to increase energy resilience at critical facilities throughout New Jersey,” said Dianne Solomon, President of the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU). "Increasing energy resilience, whether through the Energy Resilience Bank, the BPU approved resiliency improvement measures implemented by utility companies or NJ’s Clean Energy Program, will minimize the potential impacts of future widespread power outages due to major storms like Superstorm Sandy.”
Superstorm Sandy caused extensive damage to New Jersey’s energy infrastructure, disrupting delivery of electricity, petroleum, and natural gas to consumers across the state, and leaving an estimated five million residents without electricity. Distributed energy resources, including combined heat and power (CHP), fuel cells (FC) and off-grid solar inverters with battery storage, allowed some critical facilities, such as hospitals, wastewater treatment plants and universities, to remain operational while the electric grid was down. The launch of the ERB will enable many more such facilities to remain operational during future outages. In addition to providing resilience, the benefits of distributed energy resources also include lower and stable energy costs, a cleaner environment through reduced emissions, and increased overall efficiency.