PSE&G puts transmission upgrade into service

Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) has placed in service the $125 million Sewaren—Metuchen 230-kV Conversion Project.

The project, which is needed to maintain reliability by relieving congestion on other regional transmission systems, runs from PSE&G’s switching station in Woodbridge to its switching station in Edison, PSEG said.

The company also said that the project, which was mandated by PJM Interconnection, was designed to replace the existing 138-kV transmission system from Woodbridge to Edison with a 230-kV transmission system. The new, higher voltage line will eliminate electric system capacity issues in central New Jersey, PSEG said.

The project required overhead transmission modifications within existing PSE&G rights of way (ROWs), PSEG said, adding that there were major upgrades to four existing PSE&G stations, including the expansion of the Metuchen switching station. The existing 138-kV lattice towers supporting the overhead lines were replaced with monopole structures, and the existing stations were upgraded entirely within existing fence lines, PSEG said.

According to the project’s fact sheet, the project consisted of two segments:

·      Overhead transmission upgrade from Sewaren to Metuchen (about seven miles) — beginning at the Sewaren switching station in Woodbridge Township, and ending at the Metuchen switching station in Edison

·      Station upgrades at the Sewaren switching station in Woodbridge Township; Woodbridge substation in Woodbridge Township; Lafayette Road substation in Woodbridge Township; and the Metuchen switching station

PSEG said that PSE&G also energized two other strategic transmission reliability projects this summer, including the Northeast Grid Reliability Project and phase 1 of the Bergen — Linden Corridor Upgrade Project.

As noted on the company’s website, the Northeast Grid Reliability Project upgraded PSE&G’s power service in the northern part of New Jersey from 138-kV service to 230-kV on existing overhead transmission lines to comply with requirements set by PJM. New 230-kV underground transmission circuits were also installed in Jersey City and from PSE&G’s Bergen switching station in Ridgefield to its Athenia switching station in Clifton, the website said.

The estimated $975 million project upgraded a 50-mile route of overhead transmission along existing PSE&G ROWs from Roseland, through West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Little Falls, Clifton, Bloomfield, Nutley, Belleville, North Arlington, Newark, Lyndhurst, Kearny and Jersey City, the website said.

The overhead transmission portion of the project included new transmission towers all designed to withstand wind impacts up to 105 mph, the website said, adding that existing towers in Bloomfield, Nutley, Belleville and North Arlington were originally designed for 230-kV power and therefore will not be replaced.

A 3.5-mile underground transmission circuit was installed in Jersey City from PSE&G’s Hudson switching station to its South Waterfront switching station, the website said. Additionally, a 15-mile underground circuit was installed through Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Bogota, Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park, Lodi, Saddle Brook, Garfield and Clifton, the website said, noting that the project also included the reconfiguration of PSE&G’s switching stations in Roseland, Clifton, Saddle Brook, Newark and Jersey City.

The Bergen to Linden Corridor Upgrade Project is a $1.2 billion investment to build a 345-kV transmission system running from PSE&G’s Bergen switching station in Ridgefield to its Linden Switching Station in Linden, according to the website.

The project will be separated into three phases and will require overhead transmission modifications within existing PSE&G ROWs, as well as underground cable replacements and new 345-kV cable routes, the website said. There will be major upgrades to nine existing stations, and the construction of a new switching station at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to the website.

The route and stations extend through seven municipalities in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Union Counties, including Ridgefield, North Bergen, Jersey City, Bayonne, Newark, Elizabeth, and Linden, the website said. The existing 138-kV lattice towers supporting the overhead lines will be replaced with monopoles or new lattice towers, depending on design conditions, material lead times, and permit conditions, according to the website.  The underground transmission lines will use a combination of new and existing conduits, and existing stations will be upgraded almost entirely within existing fence lines, according to the website.

The website noted that Phase 1 (Marion—Bergen 345-kV Conversion Overhead) focused on work to be performed within the PSE&G Hudson-Bergen/Marion-Bergen 230-kV and 138-kV overhead transmission corridor, and the Bergen, North Bergen, Homestead, Penhorn, and Marion stations. Construction of Phase 1 began in 3Q14, and was placed in-service in June, the website said

PSEG noted in its Aug. 17 statement that PSE&G invested more than $1.8bn in electric transmission reinforcement and upgrades in 2015, as part of its plan to invest $12 billion in its electric and gas infrastructure over the next five years.

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief analyst for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 10 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at .

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