Hoboken Eyes $50M Plan To Make Critical Buildings Blackout-Proof

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The city of Hoboken is trying to come up with a way to keep the lights on in some buildings during a power outage.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, among the 55 or so buildings that would remain powered up by a “microgrid” are senior homes, the hospital, the police station, supermarkets and pharmacies.

“The next challenge that we face is, yes, how are we going to fund this?” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Wednesday at Stevens Institute of Technology, where the city hosted a series of expert panels on the subject.

According to rough estimates, the project would cost about $50 million.

But right now, the challenge is explaining in simple terms what a microgrid is.

“A way of taking care of resiliency when the power grid goes down,” said Darrell Massie, founder of the Intelligent Power & Energy Research Corp., the company helping to build it.

“It has the ability to share power, making sure that the most critical assets are powered at all times,” Massie said.

He added that his company is looking at powering part of it with natural gas and solar energy.

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