85 Towns and Counties Back PSE&G's Energy Strong Proposal
NEWARK, N.J., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Seventy-six municipalities and nine counties have passed resolutions endorsing PSE&G's "Energy Strong" proposal, which would fortify the utility's electric and gas distribution systems against powerful storms and natural disasters.
Leaders from towns in all eleven counties PSE&G serves support the proposed upgrades as necessary to help protect utility customers from lengthy service interruptions like those caused by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. Energy Strong calls for investing $3.9 billion over 10 years, including $2.6 billion in the first five years, to protect critical facilities, install backup distribution lines and improve communications capabilities.
In recent weeks, Essex, Middlesex and Salem counties plus the municipalities of Camden, Essex Fells, Hamilton (Mercer), Hillside, Piscataway, Plainfield and Woodland Park have joined the list of supporters.
"We appreciate that so many community leaders have spoken out in support for our plan to make New Jersey Energy Strong," said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president and chief operating officer. "These local officials have witnessed the severe hardship of widespread, extended power outages and share our belief that action is needed now to protect utility systems."
"While we're incredibly proud to have been named the nation's most reliable electric utility in five of the last eight years, recent storms have shown that day-to-day reliability is no longer enough," LaRossa said. "We need to be able to withstand extreme weather and make our distribution systems resilient. Energy Strong would do that through extraordinary reinforcement measures."
PSE&G's proposal includes: protecting more than 40 utility installations that were impacted by storm surges, adding new backup power lines, making the electric grid smarter to help identify problems and facilitate service restoration, strategically burying some wires and modernizing the gas distribution system in flood-prone areas.
"We support Energy Strong because it's the right thing to do. Some may have short memories, but I remember the anguish that so many people felt from having to go days and weeks without power after Irene and Sandy," Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo said. "We have to be better prepared and I applaud PSE&G for stepping up and being proactive," said Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. "Energy Strong is a good investment. It would pay for itself even if there is only one big storm over the next 40 or 50 years. "
The Energy Strong proposal is currently being reviewed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Key provisions of PSE&G's Energy Strong Proposal include:
-- $1.7 billion to raise, relocate or protect about 90 switching and substations affected by recent storms as well as those in newly designated flood zones.
-- $1.04 billion to replace and modernize 750 miles of low-pressure cast iron gas mains in or near flood areas.
-- $454 million to deploy smart grid technologies to better monitor system operations to increase our ability to more swiftly deploy repair teams.
-- $215 million to improve pole distribution systems.
-- $200 million to create redundancy in the system, reducing outages when damage occurs.
-- $140 million to protect nine natural gas metering stations and a liquefied natural gas station affected by Sandy or located in flood zones.
-- $60 million to move 20 miles of overhead electric distribution lines underground.
To learn more about PSE&G's proposal or to sign up as an Energy Strong supporter, go to www.NJEnergyStrong.com.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G)
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