Atlantic City Legislators To Consider Power Microgrid To Power Casinos
The possible demolition of the closed Trump Plaza in Atlantic City could result in development of a special power grid that would provide electricity, heating and cooling during natural disasters to establishments including casinos located around the Boardwalk Hall.
Introduced by Councilman Kaleem Shabaz, the proposal seeks grant money for initiating a study to understand its feasibility. A microgrid delivers power and utilities to large establishments like hospitals or hotels within a small radius. The plan has been mooted even as discussions regarding the fate of the Trump Plaza are underway.
The prospect of the property being demolished caused the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to come up with alternate plans for heating and cooling the Boardwalk Hall, since all pipes currently run through the Plaza. Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian confirmed that the fate of the facility was still to be decided. Spread over 2.6 acres, the property has 614 rooms and a 60,000-square foot casino along with other amenities like restaurants, a showroom and a health club.
If the property is razed, the city will need to put in place fresh arrangements for heating and cooling which could involve rerouting of pipes. Mayor Guardian has stated that such a revamp offered an opportunity to create a closed electrical grid that would connect properties such as Bally’s Atlantic City, The Claridge hotel, Caesars Atlantic City, Boardwalk Hall and AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.
In a statement, Mayor Guardian said
The question was could we close this (current) grid and add the hospital. If we could, then in the event of an emergency, like a hurricane … instead of evacuating the island, we would be able to produce the utilities, heating and cooling to house about 20,000 people — all those hotels, Boardwalk Hall, plus the hospital
The casinos had to be shut down during Hurricane Sandy which hit the state in 2012. The Mayor additionally pointed out that while first floors would still be vulnerable during an emergency like a hurricane, upper floors and the kitchen would typically remain functional.
The overhaul of the city’s power infrastructure is one of the priorities listed in the city’s five- year improvement plan, put forth by Atlantic City Electric officials. Atlantic City Electric spokesman Frank Tedesco however said that so far there were no plans to construct a micro grid in the area and that he was not familiar with the new legislation.
Posted on: 10th March 2017 by: Gary Beachley