In Atlantic City, the city council has reportedly voted to ask the state to fund a study into the possibility of creating a miniature power grid that would supply electricity, heating and cooling services to as many as 20,000 people during an emergency such as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

According to a report from The Press Of Atlantic City newspaper, the proposal, which was put forth by councilman Kaleem Shabazz, has been prompted by the possible future demolition of the Trump Plaza Hotel And Casino as the heating and cooling pipes for the coastal city’s 14,770-seat Boardwalk Hall run underneath the long-shuttered property.

The Trump Plaza Hotel And Casino, which was once owned by President Donald Trump but closed in September of 2014, sits on a narrow 2.6-acre Boardwalk plot and was bought by Carl Icahn last year. However, the 81-year-old billionaire businessman has since struggled to offload the once grand 614-room property and is reportedly said to be considering levelling the site and starting again.

The possible demolition of the former building with its 60,000 sq ft casino would reportedly force the city’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to come up with an alternative plan for heating and cooling Boardwalk Hall while any such project would moreover require major infrastructure improvements including the re-routing of electricity lines.

City council members approved a motion on Wednesday that asks the New Jersey Board Of Public Utilities to grant money for a study into the creation of a closed “micro-grid” that would be able to provide electricity to Bally’s Atlantic City, The Claridge Hotel, Caesars Atlantic City Hotel And Casino, Boardwalk Hall and the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

The Press Of Atlantic City reported that miniature power grids, which are known as “micro-grids”, are often used to provide electricity and utilities through separate circuits to locations such as hospitals and emergency shelters while the system being envisioned for the New Jersey city would form part of a $1 billion five-year capital improvement plan designed to bolster the resiliency of the area’s power grid.

“The question was could we close this [current] grid and add the hospital,” Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian told the newspaper. “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. This would be new thinking. You would be concerned about the first floor but above the first floor you could still operate the elevators and the water. You will have all of the kitchens in case of an emergency.”

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