A new report on microgrids, published by staff of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, has found that 50 microgrids are currently operating in the state. Six of these microgrids utilize renewables, and 12 have islanding capability. Notably, none of New Jersey’s 50 microgrids are are “Level 3” (advanced) microgrids, which serve multiple buildings and/or customers, although two Level 3 microgrids are currently under development.
The report is intended to inform the BPU on microgrids so that it can make informed policy decisions. The report includes several recommendations, while noting that that it is likely, due to declining costs of DER technologies, that New Jersey could see a migration of customers from the electric distribution system to DER systems.
The recommendations include:
- Establishing state-specific definitions for DERs and microgrids, and different levels of microgrids.
- Establishing a stakeholder process to develop and implement Level 3 microgrid pilot projects.
- Initiate a Level 3 microgrid pilot in each EDC’s service territory.
- Develop and implement a financing program for Level 3 microgrids.