New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the U.S. Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, have announced a federal-state partnership in which the federal government will spend $1 million to develop a smart grid designed to keep NJ Transit’s trains running even during power outages. The system they implement is one that they hope can then be adopted for transit networks throughout the United States. The two governments will work with bioenergy and biodefense company Sandia National Laboratories. The technology meant to be implemented into this particular smart grid is currently military technology, and, if the project proceeds, it will be the first non-military implementation.
The initiative is, of course, being developed with Superstorm Sandy in mind. At the project’s announcement, held at Secaucus Junction train station, Governor Christie said that the storm and its aftermath would be a wasted opportunity if they failed to learn anything from it and failed to use the technology and intellect that the country has to offer to prevent that aftermath the best that they can. Although it was revealed that the federal government would put $1 million toward the project, the total price tag has not been revealed. Christie did mention that their goal was to get the project done as quickly as possible and Moniz reminded the audience that Sandy caused about $65 million in damage. With climate scientists warning about the rising sea levels, Moniz pressed the importance of rebuilding the damage quickly and stronger than it was before. Although climate change issues were brought up, Christie has mentioned before that climate change was not a main concern to him in relation to Sandy. He did not mention it at the project’s announcement.
Sandia plans to implement the “energy surety design methodology” in the project, a feature the company has designed with the purpose of evaluating regional energy needs and providing solutions meant to make them more reliant and resilient. The smart grid feature of the design implements energy from various sources, including renewables such as solar and wind, as well as generators and power storage.
Read the full article here: Christie, Energy Secretary Tout ‘Smart Grid’ Plan for NJ Transit