Cogeneration, Gas, New Projects, On-Site Power

NJ Transit wants gas-fired power, microgrid to energize local rail system

(Rendering by Jacobs Engineering)

NJ Transit is holding a public hearing tonight about its proposed gas-fired power plant and microgrid.

The New Jersey state agency wants to build a 102 to 140 MW gas-fired power generating station near Kearny. The unit would energize the proposed NJ TRANSITGRID project, which NJ Transit called the “first of its kind.”

NJ TRANSITGRID would include transmission lines supplying a traction power substation that electrifies the tracks and operation controls on portions of the NJ Transit and Amtrak train system.

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, according to the agency.

The proposed project has its detractors, such as the Sierra Club.

“We cannot add any more harmful pollution to our air and lungs. Our entire state received an “F” grade for air quality from the American Lung Association,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, in a statement prior to the public meeting. “We also have serious ozone pollution in New Jersey because almost every county that conducts monitoring has a failing grade for ozone. We also are fighting 5 proposed fossil fuel power plants in New Jersey, and now 6 with our own state pushing for one. Another fossil fuel plant in Kearny will be the tipping point for the welfare of the community and the environment. It is important for people to come out to the hearing and voice their opposition to this unnecessary and unneeded fossil fuel project.”

NJ Transit is holding two meetings Tuesday at Saint Peter’s University’s Duncan Family Sky Room.