Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Hoboken: Good video on why microgrids are important
My friends at Greener by Design have posted a new video (here) explaining what microgrids are and why they are important.
(The flipchart explanation of microgrids: small-scale electric grids that can keep functioning, using smaller power plants and renewables, when the bigger electric grid is out of service due to natural or manmade disaster.)
New Jersey, and of course Hoboken in particular, are very sensitive to this issue in a post-Sandy world. Microgrids are an obviously good idea, but more technically complicated than you might think.
What do microgrids have to do with transportation? Well, first of all, a continuing supply of electricity means you can get gasoline from gas stations, which need power for their pumps. You can also power your electric vehicle, which is even better.
And – if you have a decently planned town or neighborhood – you can walk or bike (or drive) to a corner store or convenience store and other services, most of which can’t function very well without power for lighting and refrigeration.
As I frequently comment, we do a much better job of transportation planning at the regional and corridor level than we do at the local level. We need to do more “microgrid” planning for transportation resilience too!