PSEG last week outlined a plan to invest $14 billion to $17 billion over the next five years.
PSEG's infrastructure program, an expansion of previously disclosed plans to invest $11.5 billion to $13.2 billion over the five-year period ending in 2022, includes a proposal for a significant increase in the utility's investments in energy efficiency, as well as the first major investment in electric vehicle infrastructure. These investments will help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goals, maintain its momentum to modernize its infrastructure and underscore New Jersey's environmental leadership.
The program, if approved, provides an opportunity for annual growth of 8 percent to 10 percent in PSE&G's rate base.
"This ambitious program is all about continuing the positive momentum that the people of PSEG have built over the last 115 years," said PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo. "It is the most significant investment program in PSEG's history, marking a strong commitment to modernization of our infrastructure and a clean energy future. This will help meet growing consumer desire to use less energy, to ensure the energy they use is cleaner, and to lower bills."
The company outlined its game-changing clean energy proposal to invest $2.9 billion in energy efficiency and other programs that will reduce energy bills and combat climate change. The proposal includes:
- $2.5 billion for energy efficiency to reduce bills and lower energy use,which will decrease air pollution, including emissions that accelerate climate change
- $300 million for building a "smart" electric vehicle infrastructure
- $100 million for utility-scale energy storage systems that will enable greater development of renewable resources and enhance resiliency.
PSEG estimates that the energy efficiency program will generate approximately 5,000 sustainable direct and indirect jobs over the six-year life of the program, reduce CO2 emissions by 24 million tons and reduce energy use by 40 million MWh of electricity and 675 million therms of natural gas.
"This energy efficiency program would be a win-win for the state," Izzo said. "This program will put New Jersey at the forefront of clean energy policy and will align the utility's incentives with the rising expectations of our customers."
PSE&G expects to file its clean energy plan with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities later this year.
In addition to the clean energy investments, PSE&G's five-year investment program, which continues the company's momentum to modernize its transmission and distribution system, includes:
- $6 billion in transmission projects to upgrade aging infrastructure and enhance reliability and resiliency
- $3 billion to improve the reliability and safety of its natural gas distribution system through the recently approved extension of its Gas System Modernization Program
- $2.5 billion (proposed) to extend its Energy Strong program, referred to as Energy Strong II, which is expected to enhance reliability and resiliency by hardening electric and gas facilities against storms and expanding technology investment in the grid. The $1.2 billion first phase of the Energy Strong program is expected to be completed later this year.
"Even as we have made significant investments in improving the gas, electric delivery and transmission systems, typical residential customer bills are about 21 percent lower that they were at the start of this decade," Izzo said. "Lower natural gas prices and interest rates make this the ideal time to make these needed investments and still keep bills reasonable."
PSEG further announced that PSEG Power, the company's merchant generation and power marketing business, will continue to transition to a more efficient, productive and clean power generation fleet.
PSEG Power has retired approximately 4,000 MW of less-efficient generation (coal and peakers) over the last five years and is currently constructing three highly efficient combined-cycle power plants – two that are expected to come online this year (Sewaren, New Jersey, and Prince George's County, Maryland) and one in 2019 (Bridgeport, Connecticut).
"PSEG Power is helping combat climate change by preserving nuclear generation as a carbon-free resource and developing new highly efficient, combined-cycle plants to displace coal and older, less-efficient gas plants," Izzo said.