The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) is partnering with New Jersey to develop a plan to build a microgrid that would keep NJ Transit moving if we get hit by another weather system like Superstorm Sandy.

NJ Transit Microgrid (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

After the hurricane last October, when the regular power went down all over the state, NJ Transit rail service was significantly interrupted.

“As we rebuild New Jersey from Superstorm Sandy, I am committed to making our state stronger and more resilient. NJ TRANSITGRID is an important step in that process,” said Gov. Chris Christie during an event at the Secaucus rail station.

The Energy Department will spend more than a million dollars for the initial study.

“The President’s Climate Action Plan calls for making our nation’s  infrastructure smarter and stronger so that it can withstand new and more  serious environmental threats and increasingly severe weather events, the partnership announced today marks an important step in this direction by working to improve the electric grid system in New Jersey and  the broader region so that it is more resilient and better equipped to maintain  power during natural disasters,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The NJ Transit rail system is a critical transportation corridor and evacuation route for Manhattan. Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and other natural disasters have exposed the vulnerability of the transit system to power outages.