FTA grant to help fund NJ TRANSITGRID project

June 13, 2019
The project, which is part of NJ Transit's Resilience Program, will build a microgrid that will provide reliable power during disruptions.

New Jersey Transit will receive $46 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to enter design and construction for the Distributed Generation portion of the NJ TRANSITGRID project. The microgrid to be designed and constructed will be a local energy grid with control capability allowing it to disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously. 

NJ Transit says the Distributed Generation phase of the NJ TRANSITGRID project is a "first-of-its-kind" system and will provide reliable power to support critical infrastructure during power brownouts or blackouts. The grant will fund the design and construction activities to develop electrical power systems at Greenville Bus Garage, Wayne Bus Garage, Meadowlands Bus Garage, Newark Penn Station, Broad Street Station, Secaucus Junction Station and the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal.

Each participating station will be equipped with localized power generation for use during commercial power disruptions and a pilot project at the Wayne Bus Garage will involve a solar canopy to power the facility during disruptions, but also offset electrical use during regular operation.  

“This funding will move NJ Transit toward self-sufficiency in the event of a disaster such as Superstorm Sandy where commercial power systems may be limited or unavailable,” said NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “When completed, NJ TRANSITGRID will power critical stations, terminals and rail lines to help our customers safely get to their destinations.”

The NJ TRANSITGRID project is part of NJ TRANSIT’s Resilience Program, a concerted and ongoing effort to make the transit system and infrastructure stronger and more reliable following Superstorm Sandy in 2012.  

The FTA is providing $45,828,737 toward the Distributed Generation project, and the TTF is matching that grant with $15,276,246 to bring the total funding to $61,104,983. NJ Transit explains that the FTA grant is the first allocation of the $409,764,814 Competitive Resilience funds allocated to the NJ TRANSITGRID project under the Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program and the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The remainder of the funding, when allocated, will be used to complete the NJ TRANSITGRID Central Power Plant project. 

The Central Power Plant project will electrify the tracks and operating controls on portions of the NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak systems. After completing environmental review and receiving the remainder of the grant, the proposed facility will operate 24/7 and be sized to handle limited operations on the Northeast Corridor between New York’s Penn Station and NJ TRANSIT’s Jersey Avenue Station in New Brunswick; the Morris & Essex line between Hoboken Terminal and Maplewood Station; and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) Transit System. The project will also provide power to the signal system on a portion of the Main Line. 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.