Camden County, along with the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (“CCMUA”), proposes to establish a community microgrid in Camden City. The project envisions connecting CCMUA with Covanta to allow the two facilities to exchange electrical and thermal energy during emergency and non-emergency times based on the needs of CCMUA and its connected microgrid community partners. The interconnection of the two facilities will allow Covanta to replace its use of potable water with treated wastewater for its power production operations, as part of a sustainability loop that would be created. This treated wastewater supply is expected to reduce stress on the local aquifer system. Other facilities that will benefit from the microgrid include Camden Housing Authority, Riletta Cream and H.B. Wilson Elementary Schools, New Village Supermarket, Fellowship House, Fortunas, and Citgo Gas.
Funded by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the microgrid feasibility study will evaluate the technical and financial viability of providing DER to most if not all of the study areas’ electrical needs while using excess heat from the Covanta WTE facility to offset thermal loads of the CCMUA. In turn, water from CCMUA could be used to decrease Covanta’s potable water use. This self-sustainable system would also provide continuity of operations to critical public safety infrastructure (shelters, police, fire and medical) during times of natural or man-made disasters.
The estimated time to complete the feasibility study is 12 months. The total incentive amount is $150,000 for Camden County.
The sustainability loop project has generated wide interest. Some of the news coverage can be viewed here:
- Board of Public Utilities funds CCMUA community microgrid feasibility study (7/14/2017)
- State announces study of microgrid to connect CCMUA with other facilities for energy resiliency (SNJ Today) (9/8/2017)
- CCMUA Executive Director Andy Kricun stresses critical need for independent power source in planning for microgrid (Daily Energy Insider) (9/12/2017)
- Wastewater for electricity: South Jersey utility in swap deal with trash-to-energy plant (Philly.com) (10/3/2017)
- Camden County MUA says energy independent in 2019 (Courier Post) (10/3/2017)
- Camden Sewage Treatment Plant To Go Off Power Grid By 2019 (CBSPhilly.com) (10/3/2017)
- Camden County Takes Steps to Get Off the Grid (SNJ Today) (10/3/2017)
- Camden County Utilities Authority Goes Off-Grid with $40M Sustainability Loop (NJ Pen) (10/3/2017)
- CCMUA Becomes First Authority in State to be Energy Independent (CamdenCounty.com) (10/3/2017)