New Jersey Transit – which operates 12 rail lines in the Garden State and provides nearly 223 million passenger trips each year – announced on January 3 that it had selected Jacobs Engineering Group to provide design and general engineering services for the agency’s $577 million microgrid project – the first of its kind nationwide.
Originally announced in August 2013, the project represents a partnership with the Obama Administration to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient for future disasters.
Indeed, the microgrid is part of a ten-year project that is intended to harden New Jersey’s infrastructure following Superstorm Sandy, a Category 3 hurricane that hit the East Coast at the end of 2012.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories to plan the NJ TransitGrid – an electrical microgrid capable of supplying highly-reliable power to the Northeast rail corridor (including Amtrak) during storms or other times when the traditional centralized grid is compromised.
According to Jacobs Engineering, design components will include a natural gas-fired power plant and associated substations, transmission and distribution lines to substations that electrify tracks, and operating controls for portions of the NJ Transit and NEC system.
Jacobs will provide regulatory and economic advisory services, conceptual and preliminary design, procurement support, contract packaging for the procurement of design-build contracts, and construction assistance to support the development of the NJ TransitGrid project.
In making the announcement, Jacobs SVP of Buildings and Infrastructure Randy Pierce stated, “NJ TransitGrid is set to make a tremendous difference in the lives of the commuting public during the times when they need it most….. This project continues to advance NJ TRANSIT’s leadership in resiliency and recovery.”