NJ Wants More Renewable Energy — But Grid Needs Upgrades to Handle
TRENTON – State energy regulators are moving full speed ahead with some of a consultant’s recommendations for modernizing New Jersey’s power grid – but only half-speed with the more far-reaching suggestions.
The 107-page report from Guidehouse included nine recommendations. The Board of Public Utilities is proposing the four short-term changes meant to make it easier for resources such as solar and energy storage to get approvals, but the other five will be the subject of further debate and meetings.
“For clean energy to be attached to the grid at an accelerated pace and as effectively and efficiently as possible, New Jersey’s interconnection rules and processes require updating,” said Paul Lupo, acting director of the BPU’s energy division.
The long-term changes include things with direct financial implications, such as an interconnection tariff and reforming the way costs are allocated.
BPU members said it’s vital to enhance the grid infrastructure. Just last week, the BPU selected an offshore wind transmission project.
“My greatest fear is that one morning, we’re going to wake up and we have no place to plug in our renewable energy,” said board President Joseph Fiordaliso.
“We just need to build up the capacity of the grid to accommodate these new sources of energy, and these are just really important steps that we’re taking,” said Commissioner Robert Gordon.