Jersey City to Invest $21M with Major Energy Infrastructure Improvements, Solidifying Jersey City’s Position as a Regional Sustainability & Resiliency Leader
Plans to Improve Community’s Overall Health; Construction of 1st Microgrid to Ensure Continuity of Critical Operations During any Emergencies
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced today a new partnership with Schneider Electric to implement Jersey City’s first Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) to reduce operational costs, improve energy resiliency, and leverage energy savings to minimize cost on urgent capital infrastructure projects. The resolutions will go before the City Council on March 23rd to move forward on this revolutionary program which will achieve ambitious sustainability goals by maximizing funding from outside sources, such as utility rebates and incentives. The plan saves taxpayers $21 million in energy and operational costs over 20 years while funding over $19 million in urgent capital needs.
Under the ESIP, Jersey City will also become the first in the country to create a self-sustainable municipal microgrid utilizing the 1.23 MW solar panel array installed at DPW last year to ensure continuity of vital service operations utilizing the municipal electric vehicle (EV) fleet operations, specifically EV garbage trucks. As the first on the entire East Coast to have EV garbage trucks in our municipal fleet, the microgrid takes the City’s efforts a significant step further by proactively preparing to provide power so that operations can continue through any type of power outages and emergencies with a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Having experienced Superstorm Sandy and, more recently, witnessing the devastating power outages in Texas last month, we’ve been working to establish a strong and resilient infrastructure to keep our community safe and healthy, every day and through every level of emergency,” said Mayor Fulop. “This microgrid and the entire ESIP program will serve as a national resiliency model saving us millions of dollars and significantly reducing our carbon footprint, while improving air quality and the overall health and quality of life for our residents.”
The resolution will also approve a $500,000 contract for the PSE&G Direct Install / “Energy Savers” program which is a turn-key energy efficiency program to further drive significant budgetary savings as part of the ESIP by installing across 22 city-owned facilities: new LED lighting, water conservation measures, HVAC equipment replacements, and other energy efficiencies upgrades. PSE&G will pay for the majority of the costs as part of New Jersey’s clean energy policies and energy efficiency incentives. The City’s monthly savings would exceed monthly energy payments, therefore this would have a net positive impact on Jersey City’s utility costs and help fund other improvements within the ESIP.
“My colleague Dan Riggle and I, and the whole Schneider Electric team, are proud to have the opportunity to work with Mayor Fulop and Jersey City on this exciting project,” said former Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, now with Schneider Electric. “The $21 million in energy savings and incentives generated by this landmark ESIP project will help Jersey City lead the way in promoting sustainability, energy efficiency and resiliency while funding urgent capital improvements.”
As part of the administration’s sustainability and resiliency efforts to ensure reliable operations, the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center – which provides vital community services, including current operations as a vaccination site and a Red Cross emergency shelter for the community – is one of the 22 City buildings to be retrofitted with energy updates including HVAC replacement, a new roof, and solar power.
The resolution to formally adopt the full ESIP is scheduled to go before City Council for a vote in April.
This energy and cost savings program is a major milestone to expand Jersey City’s position as one of the region’s sustainability leaders. As a leader in transportation electrification, Jersey City has experienced firsthand the tremendous value of bringing in these types of investments for clean, efficient energy infrastructure to create jobs and reduce pollution.
Mayor Fulop’s aggressive approach to improve Jersey City’s environmental impact was amplified with policy he enacted in 2020 to transition the municipal fleet to 100% electric where available by 2030. Jersey City will soon become the first on the entire East Coast to incorporate electric garbage trucks to replace five, 30-year-old diesel emission offenders. The City purchased the first EV municipal fleet vehicles at the beginning of 2019 and installed the first EV municipal fleet chargers in the spring of 2019.
Mayor Fulop joined the “Mayors for Climate” Coalition in 2017 following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, under which he has maintained his commitment to increase investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks, and increase efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.