Mayor Scharfenberger Highlights Benefits of Proposed Microgrid Study at Press Conference
Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) President Richard Mroz highlighted the benefits of Middletown Township’s Town Center Distributed Energy Resource Microgrid Feasibility study at a press conference on Wednesday at Butler Park in Port Monmouth. Port Monmouth was one of the hardest hit areas by Superstorm Sandy. In July, the NJ BPU awarded the Township a $150,000 grant to conduct the study.
As we approach the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and watch the devastation happening in the gulf coast due to Hurricane Harvey, we are reminded of how crucial it is to have advanced local microgrids that can improve energy resiliency and help us prepare for emergencies.
The Microgrid would connect private entities and services and critical facilities within the microgrid, offering the benefits of allowing those facilities to remain operational while the power grid is down and providing increased energy efficiency for those facilities. The proposed project area is roughly 3.5 miles spanning from the NY Waterways Ferry Terminal to the Middletown Public Works and Fast Fill Natural Gas Station. The project area overlaps with the Army Corps’ ongoing $110 Million Dollar Federal Flood Control Project with the Naval Weapons Station Earle.
“Middletown Township was among the most devastated by Superstorm Sandy,” said Mayor Scharfenberger. “As a coastal town, we know first-hand the critical importance of having an independent energy source and developing a means of minimizing power outages in both scale and duration.”
Additional press conference attendants from Middletown Township included Township Committeeman Tony Fiore, Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante, Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority (TOMSA) Executive Director Ray Nierstedt, TOMSA Staff Engineer Brian Rischman, and Community Plans and Liaison Officer at Naval Weapons Station Earle Dennis Blazak.
After the press conference, Township officials gave BPU members a tour of one of the critical facilities, the Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority.