Public Service Electric and Gas Co. seeks OK for New Jersey reliability project

Newark, N.J., May 26, 2011 Public Service Electric and Gas Co. submitted its application to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to construct the North Central Reliability Project, which would upgrade transmission lines and substations in the northern and central regions of the state.

The upgrade is required by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., the independent regional planning organization, to help maintain reliability and provide better power quality. In addition, the project is expected to reduce transmission system congestion in the region.

The existing power system, some of which dates back to the 1920s, needs to be upgraded to keep pace with the demand for power created by technology, such as large-screen televisions, iPods, cellular phones and other electronic devices that are now commonplace. The upgraded 230kV system will benefit all area residents and businesses, regardless of their local electric company.

The BPU review process is expected to include public hearings, as well as an evidentiary hearing. During the review period, PSE&G will conduct final design work and other construction details. Once BPU approval is received, work could begin in early 2012, with an in-service date of June 2014.

In addition to the BPU review process, the project will undergo environmental review by all government agencies with jurisdiction.

The North Central Reliability Project will upgrade existing PSE&G transmission lines and stations along its existing right-of-way from the Roseland Switching Station in Essex County to the West Orange Switching Station in Essex County and to the Sewaren Switching Station in Middlesex County.

The existing 138,000-volt (138-kV) transmission lines would be replaced with 230,000-volt (230kV) transmission lines for 35 miles through West Orange, Livingston, Roseland, Florham Park, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Watchung, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Clark, Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge.

The cost of the project is currently estimated to be $300-$350 million, and will create about 400 new craft jobs in the state during a two-year period.

Public Service Electric and Gas Co. is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population.

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