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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. – QuickChek Corp. has gotten the go-ahead to install back-up power solutions at several convenience store/gas station locations across New Jersey.
The Whitehouse Station-based retailer is part of first round of approvals in a NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) initiative that looks to address emergency fuel supply challenges highlighted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Under the NJ Economic Development.
The Retail Fuel Station (RFS) Program is $7-million grant program which helps provide targeted retail fuel stations, on and near evacuation routes, faster and more reliable access to back-up power during an energy emergency.
To date, 33 stations have completed all required environmental and design reviews and are now approved to move forward with their plans to install back-up power solutions using grants provided through the RFS Program. Of the 33 approvals, 28 will install permanent generators, while five will rely on "quick connect" devices, which provide connection points for mobile generators. Grants for the approved stations total $1.8 million.
Nineteen QuickChek locations, including stores in Lodi, Ramsey, Perth Amboy, Bayonne and Sparta, will install permanent generators. For a full list of approved sites, click here.
"This first round of approvals under the RFS Program represents a major milestone as we work to make New Jersey more resilient in the face of future disasters," said EDA CEO Michele Brown. "These initial approvals, once installed, will help to avert the type of gasoline shortages and logistical and transportation challenges New Jerseyans faced following Sandy."
The RFS Program, which is voluntary, is funded through the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Eligible stations, which were identified by state homeland security and emergency management personnel, will use the funds to purchase generators or quick connects. Stations were targeted for the program based on factors including proximity to evacuation routes and gasoline storage capacity. The application deadline was March 21.
The 33 stations approved so far under the RFS Program, and those that follow, are in addition to the 22 gas stations located on the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City Expressway already equipped with back-up power for outages.
Brown noted that under the RFS Program, a significantly broader reach of gas stations within a quarter of a mile of key evacuation routes across the New Jersey will benefit from quicker access to back-up energy.
The RFS Program is two-tiered: targeted retail stations along targeted routes with fuel storage capacity between 30,000 gallons and 35,000 gallons were eligible for up to $15,000 to purchase quick connect technology or offset a portion of the cost of purchasing a generator; targeted retail stations along targeted routes with fuel storage capacity greater than 35,000 gallons were eligible for up to $65,000 in funding toward the purchase and installation of an onsite generator.
Under the grant parameters, eligible fuel stations were required to serve both diesel and gasoline, except in very limited instances where a station does not sell diesel but is the only available retail fuel outlet within a quarter mile of an identified evacuation route. In addition, a limited number of gas stations with less than a 30,000 gallon capacity were eligible for $15,000 in grant funding as they were also the only stations available on an identified evacuation route.
A map and list indicating the location of the approved stations is available here.
In addition to the RFS Program, the State also acquired and will maintain a strategic cache of emergency generators that can be deployed through state emergency responders during a major power outage to critical assets such as shelters, hospitals, public safety facilities and retail fuel stations. The generator cache will be stored by the New Jersey Department of Transportation at strategically located facilities to help cover north, central and south response needs.
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) has also been working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to explore ways to increase the resiliency of the State’s petroleum storage, distribution and supply systems.