Following extensive review of three possible routes under consideration for a new power line in New Jersey that will assure the reliability of the transmission system and meet growing demand for safe, reliable power in the region, PSE&G today announced the selection of "Route B." for the Susquehanna-Roseland line. The line, which is required by PJM Interconnection, the region’s independent system operator, will help prevent overloads and possible blackouts on the power grid, such as the one that occurred in the Northeast in August 2003. [See Projects in Progress, June 13, 2008]
The selected route begins in Hardwick Township, Warren County, proceeds east to Andover Township, Sussex County, and on to Jefferson Township, Morris County. The route continues east to Montville Township and then turns south to Roseland Borough, Essex County. It follows an existing power line for the entire 45-mile length and will pass through 15 municipalities: Andover Township, Boonton Township, Byram Township, East Hanover Township, Fredon Township, Hardwick Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon Borough, Montville Township, Newton Township, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Rockaway Township, Roseland Borough, Sparta Township and Stillwater Township.
PPL Electric Utilities, based in Allentown, Pa., is constructing the Pennsylvania portion of the 500,000-volt (500 kV) line, which extends from its Susquehanna switching station near Berwick, Pa. to the Delaware River. In a statement released today, PPL also announced the selection of Route B as the best pathway for this new line.
“The primary goal was to select a route that minimized the impact of this important project on residents, their properties, and the environment,” said Ralph LaRossa, president and COO of PSE&G.
LaRossa said that PSE&G’s decision was based on a detailed siting study and information gathered from three public workshops held in June, as well as comments submitted to the project Web site. He explained that Route B was selected because it:
- would be constructed entirely within an existing 230,000-volt (230kV) transmission right-of-way, which already contains transmission structures and wires, for its entire length in New Jersey. This minimizes the impact to the environment, requiring no construction on virgin right-of-way and minimal clearing of vegetation.
- crosses the least amount of wooded wetlands and forested lands, and has the least potential to permanently alter these important habitats.
- has the least impact on aesthetics and provides the least environmental, engineering and construction challenges.
PSE&G will now initiate the extensive approval and permitting process needed to begin work on the selected route. In addition to the placement of new towers and lines, PSE&G will construct two new substations – one in Jefferson Township, Morris County, and another at its existing property in the Roseland/East Hanover area to support the new 500-kV line. Pending approvals, construction would start in late 2009 with completion of the new line in time for the summer of 2012.
Letters will be sent to affected property owners and meetings with municipal officials will be scheduled. Prior to route selection PSE&G held a number of workshops and public meetings so that residents and government officials could provide input into the process. Additional public meetings will be held before submission of permit applications so that residents and others will have the opportunity to ask questions and express concerns.
Without the new line, PJM is projecting overloads on existing power lines starting as early as 2013. The danger is greatest during periods when demand is highest, such as the hottest days of summer, or when other power lines or equipment are unavailable because of maintenance. These overloads – the result of steadily increasing demand for power without a corresponding increase in the number of power lines to carry it – could cause brownouts or blackouts for PSE&G customers and throughout the region, according to PJM.
“PSE&G has more than a century of experience in building and maintaining power lines that provide safe, reliable, low-cost and clean electricity to New Jersey residents,” LaRossa said. “We are committed to building the Susquehanna-Roseland line according to all safety and environmental standards, while being sensitive to the needs and concerns of those along the route.”
Additional information and maps are available on the Susquehanna-Roseland project web site, www.reliabilityprojectpseg.com.