Author Archives: Mary Barber

New Jersey Transit Becomes a Leader in Microgrids

Source: WallyFromColumbia

Source: WallyFromColumbia

Superstorm Sandy crippled much of New Jersey’s critical infrastructure when it swept through the state two years ago. Stuck without power at home, many of the state’s residents also couldn’t get to work because the operations center for New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) flooded, damaging backup power systems, emergency generation, and the computer system that controls train operations.

New Jersey is doing its best to make sure that won’t happen again. After a highly competitive grant process, NJ Transit last week received $1.3 billion in federal funds to improve the resilience of the state’s transportation system in the event of devastating future storms. The funds include $410 million to develop the NJ TransitGrid into a first-of-its-kind microgrid capable of keeping the power running when the electric grid goes down.

Microgrids are different from traditional electric grids in that they generate electricity on-site or nearby where it’s consumed. They can connect to the larger grid or island themselves and operate independently. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, New Jersey, Smart Grid| 3 Responses, comments now closed

Governor Christie Proposes New Energy Resilience Bank to Prevent Future Superstorm Blackouts

mary1New Jersey has proposed using federal Sandy relief funds to set up an Energy Resilience Bank that would fund projects to make the state’s energy infrastructure more resilient in the face of extreme weather events. The Bank is an innovative proposal that will help New Jersey prepare for the future in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, causing human loss and suffering that continues for many today.

Climate change increases the likelihood that New Jersey will continue to be buffeted by storms such as Sandy, which exposed and underscored the need to upgrade to a more resilient, low-carbon energy infrastructure when a third of the state lost power for nearly a week. The Energy Resilience Bank, which will be capitalized at $210 million, would help expedite this process, allowing the state to keep the lights on and residents safer during the next storm. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid| 1 Response, comments now closed

New Jersey Takes Initial Step Toward Modernizing Its Vulnerable Energy Infrastructure

When Hurricane Sandy barreled through our country’s Northeast nearly a year ago, ravaging coastlines and submerging entire neighborhoods, New Jersey suffered catastrophic effects.  The state suffered more than $30 billion in damage, most of it along the Jersey shore, while an estimated 2.6 million households lost power, many of them for weeks.  Five days after Sandy hit, a third of New Jersey’s homes and businesses still did not have electricity.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie immediately sought to restore the state’s most vital infrastructure and was tireless in attracting funds for the relief effort.  However, it became clear that it was imperative to not just repair damage caused by Sandy but to upgrade and modernize the state’s outmoded, century-old grid to prevent damage from the next superstorm.

Last week, Governor Christie took a positive  step toward upgrading to a smarter, more flexible  power grid, which is crucial to resilience, safety, and storm recovery.  He announced the allocation of $25 million in federal funds to local governments to develop alternative energy projects designed to make New Jersey’s energy infrastructure resilient and reliable in the face of power outages.

Read More »

Posted in Climate, Smart Grid| Tagged , , , , | 1 Response, comments now closed
  • About the author

    New Jersey Director, Clean Energy
    As EDF's New Jersey Director, Clean Energy, Mary Barber's work focuses on energy and clean air in the New Jersey region. Mary currently leads EDF’s work scoping smart grid development in high-density urban settings, energy efficiency measurement and verification (M&V) and financing, and the NYC clean heat campaign.

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    EDF Energy Exchange - Accelerating the clean energy revolution

    EDF's energy experts discuss how to accelerate the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy economy.

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