Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. and Troy Singleton (both D-Burlington) are pleased to announce the awarding of state funds to help several towns in their 7th Legislative District boost their power systems in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
“Seeing how long it took many communities to get their power back up and running in the aftermath of Sandy was a real eye-opener,” said Conaway. “For communities with high risk populations where the elderly or those with serious health issues reside, having a reliable power source is not just a convenience but a necessity.”
“These grants will help us prepare more wisely for the future so that we don’t see power outages that last two, three, even four weeks like they did in some parts of our state after Superstorm Sandy,” said Singleton. “It’s important that we learn from these experiences and create more sustainable infrastructure that will withstand future storms better.”
The grants were awarded to Burlington Township in the amount of $177,600 and Willingboro in the amount of $159,840.
The grants come from the federal government’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to help New Jersey develop an Energy Allocation Initiative, which provides qualified applicants with a variety of energy options and back-up power systems to reduce vulnerability in the event of a significant loss of power. The funds can be used to support a broad range of technologies to make communities more resilient.
The state will also make technical assistance available from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to help advise towns on cost-effective technologies that make sense for specific facilities. Some of the technologies available include dynamic inverters and storage for existing solar panels or engineering studies for fuel cells and combined heat and power.
If communities pursue more sophisticated technology, they could also be eligible for substantial additional incentives up to $3 million and potential financing opportunities. Traditional diesel generators are also available through the program, as are solar, tri-fuel, and natural gas generators.