Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) received approval of its application to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) 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. In addition, the project will create much-needed jobs.
"The North Central Reliability Project is essential to deliver the electric power required by New Jersey businesses and residents now and in the future,” said Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G. “The demand for electricity in the region is expected to continue to grow over the long term, despite the current economic slowdown and conservation efforts. This project will help ensure that customers continue to have the safe, reliable service they have come to expect.”
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 230-kV system will benefit all area residents and businesses, regardless of their local electric company.
“PSE&G is committed to being as responsive as possible to any questions or concerns the public may have about this project,” said LaRossa. “We provide construction schedule information and updates to residents and municipal officials as work on the project begins.”
During heavy construction it will be necessary for safety to limit access to the right of way only to authorized personnel. Construction is beginning shortly along the right of way between the Roseland and West Orange switching stations in the towns of Roseland, West Orange and Livingston. PSE&G will continue to provide updates as construction progresses along the right of way.
This project is among $3.5 billion in transmission upgrades PSE&G will make during the next several years to maintain system reliability. These investments are also expected to create the equivalent of about 6,500 jobs.
About the project
The North Central Reliability Project will upgrade existing PSE&G transmission lines and stations along its existing right-of-way from the West Orange Switching Station in Essex County to the Roseland Switching Station in Essex County and then to the Sewaren Switching Station in Middlesex County. The 138-kV transmission lines will be replaced with 230-kV transmission lines along the existing right-of-way 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 $390 million, and will create approximately 400 new craft jobs in the state during a two-year period.