Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac joined PSEG Chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo for a groundbreaking and dedication event highlighting PSEG's ongoing investments to provide New Jersey and the region with cleaner, more reliable and resilient energy.
New Jersey's leaders lent a hand to PSEG and union workers to break ground on Sewaren 7, a new, highly-efficient, clean, 540 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle plant. They also helped commemorate the new, elevated Sewaren Switching Station, the first elevated station placed into service as part of PSE&G's Energy Strong program to protect and strengthen its electric and gas system against severe weather events. Together, these investments promote New Jersey's economic growth while supporting the policies and goals of the New Jersey Energy Master Plan.
"New Jersey, in so many ways, became stronger after Sandy," said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. "What's happened here in Sewaren is a great example of how we are working to ensure New Jersey's communities and infrastructure are better prepared to withstand extreme weather situations. PSEG is building a new more efficient natural gas plant to serve the state and the utility part of its business has raised and rebuilt an electric switching station designed to provide resiliency against future storms as it delivers reliable power to the people in this area."
"Superstorm Sandy's storm surge devastated the Sewaren section of Woodbridge, including our generating stations and the adjacent electric switching station," said Ralph Izzo, PSEG chairman and CEO. "Our employees worked diligently to get both back online and restore power to our customers in the aftermath of the storm. However, it was clear we needed to make our systems more resilient in the wake of severe weather. Today, we're proud to have the governor's support for these significant investments, which will increase the resiliency of our entire energy system – our power plants, our distribution lines and transmission facilities. Together, these projects ensure that we're ready to weather the next storm – even the next Sandy."
The new Sewaren 7 power plant will replace the existing plant with more efficient, cleaner technology. Sewaren 7 represents an investment of more than $600 million and is targeted to be operational in time for summer of 2018.The new plant will bring cleaner generating capacity to the region and support electric system reliability for the next 40 years. The project is expected to generate about 350 jobs during the two-year construction phase.
PSE&G has spent $125 million over the last three years hardening and upgrading its Sewaren Switching Station which was devastated by Sandy. These improvements, part of PSE&G's Energy Strong program, included raising electric distribution equipment above new FEMA flood guidelines, as well as, installing new, elevated transmission facilities needed to maintain electric system reliability. At the height of construction, the project employed 150 laborers, electricians, operating engineers and tradesmen.
"These investments are creating jobs while making New Jersey's energy infrastructure stronger. Customers get better reliability and cleaner, more efficient power and hundreds of much needed jobs are created," said Senate President Stephen Sweeney. "Between the work being done to harden the utility's electric system and the construction of a new power plant, hundreds of skilled workers are being put to work across a dozen trades."
"PSEG's commitment to Woodbridge Township has brought tremendous economic benefits in terms of job creation, community contribution and tax revenue, and increased resiliency in the electric substation that serves more than 100,000 Woodbridge Township residents," said Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac. "Woodbridge Township welcomes PSEG's economic investment at the Sewaren site and looks forward to the opening of the new Sewaren 7."