HARVEY CEDARS, N.J. - New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG), the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, is providing natural gas for a distributed generation (DG) project to support the power grid on Long Beach Island. Two 60-kW natural gas microturbines will produce added electricity for the grid and serve as a source of backup power for the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Complex where they are located. Their waste heat is being used for the complex's heating and hot water.

Electric use on Long Beach Island, like other areas of the United States, is characterized by significantly higher usage during the summer. By producing electricity and heat on site, the natural gas-fired microturbines offer reliable power economically, and reduce the amount of power drawn from the traditional transmission and distribution system, according to NJNG.

The microturbines were installed as part of a $1.6 million project to demonstrate how distributed generation could be used to enhance the reliability and quality of service on Long Beach Island. The project was approved by the N.J. Board of Public Utilities in 2002, and funded by Conectiv Power Delivery, a PHI Holdings company, with matching funds from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Electrotek Concepts, Arlington, Va., is the project manager.

This application "provides additional electricity for customers during the summer season, while improving the overall efficiency of the power delivery system," said BPU President Jeanne M. Fox.

The Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Complex includes a conference center, dining hall, gymnasium, lodge, chapel, motel, indoor pool, and maintenance building. The two microturbines will use about 92,000 therms per year of natural gas, which is the equivalent of the usage of approximately 84 homes.

"DG technologies fueled by natural gas also have the potential to improve the overall efficiency of NJNG's distribution system because peak use of electricity occurs during the summer," the utility said, "when demand for natural gas for heating is lowest."

A 30-kW natural gas-powered microturbine has been serving a portion of the power needs of NJNG's corporate headquarters since April 1999; a second 30-kW microturbine was added in August 2000. Both have operated continuously, the utility said, with scheduled maintenance.

Publication date: 08/02/2004