Governor Christie Promotes Efforts to Ensure Critical Facilities Have Power During Emergencies

Five Years Post Sandy New Jersey Is Stronger and More Resilient Thanks To Energy Resilience Bank


New Brunswick, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today promoted the state’s comprehensive efforts to assist counties, municipalities, and other large power users in taking steps to ensure that critical facilities have power during storms, disasters and other emergency situations.

During a visit to Saint Peter’s University Hospital (SPUH) in downtown New Brunswick, the Governor marked the completion of a new combined heat and power system that will enable SPUH to continue providing critical services when electric and gas service is interrupted. This project was made possible by the Energy Resilience Bank (ERB) – America’s first public infrastructure bank centered on energy resilience – created by the Christie administration in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

“This project and others like it around the state deliver resilient energy solutions for New Jersey’s most critical facilities to continue to providing life-saving services during future emergencies,” Governor Christie said. “New Brunswick and surrounding communities will now benefit from uninterrupted care during power outages, as Saint Peter’s Hospital can now operate independently and without disruption during future power outages.” 

Administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), the ERB uses $200 million from New Jersey’s second Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation.

SPUH, a not-for-profit organization, is an acute care, 478 bed-teaching hospital that provides a broad array of services to the community. The hospital treats more than 30,000 inpatients and over 200,000 outpatients annually, and employs 2,800 healthcare professionals and support personnel. SPUH suffered direct physical damage from Superstorm Sandy and had to enact emergency protective measures to protect the health and safety of its patients and employees.  This includes creating temporary hookups to accommodate water delivery by tanker when the county water plant went off line.

The SPUH project was approved in April 2016 for $7.4 million of ERB funds – approximately $4.4 million as a grant and $3 million as a low-interest loan. An additional $1 million was provided in the form of a loan from the Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) Hospital Efficiency Program, which will cover the gap between the ERB funding and the project’s total estimated costs of $8.48 million.

“PSE&G has partnered with Saint Peter’s Hospital on several innovative energy-related projects and extensive energy efficiency upgrades, contributing to the hospital’s ability to safeguard critical equipment and keep the power on during severe weather, while saving significantly on their energy bills,” said PSE&G President and Chief Operating Officer David M. Daly.

Consistent with ERB and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) CDBG-DR program requirements, SPUH developed the new heat and power system above minimum base flood elevations and included a two-Megawatt natural gas fired reciprocating engine interconnected within the facility with the necessary blackstart and islanding system controls to be able to operate independently from the grid in case of a power outage or other emergency.

The intent of the ERB is to finance the installation or upgrading of commercially available and cost effective resilient energy technologies at critical facilities, with a focus on effective DER technologies, including CHP and fuel cells, which are designed to start up and function in “island” mode, disconnected and isolated from the grid during a power outage or other event.  As an added benefit, these technologies typically provide cleaner and more efficient power than more traditional forms of electricity generation.

In addition to the EDA’s efforts, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is advancing the New Jersey State Energy Master Plan’s (EMP) priorities of improving energy resiliency and increasing the use of Town Center (TC) Distributed Energy Resource microgrid technologies by funding 13 Town Center DER Microgrid feasibility studies. These projects are dispersed throughout the State and have several in the service territory of each electric company.   They all have different attributes and capitalize on existing critical facilities and energy infrastructure.  Some include biomass, water or wastewater facilities, hydroelectric, combined heat and power, and thermal generation.  New Jersey currently has 57 running microgrids.

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Press Contact:
Brian Murray

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