PSE&G Prepared for 2020 Summer Electric Demand

Infrastructure investments totaling more than $2.4 billion enhance resiliency and maintain reliability

(NEWARK, N.J. – June 10, 2020) Public Service Electric and Gas, New Jersey’s largest utility, is well prepared to meet customer demand for safe, reliable electricity this summer. The utility has made significant infrastructure investments that will be in service for the first time this season, including more than $1.7 billion in electric projects and approximately $715 million in gas projects since last summer.    

“Our preparation enables PSE&G customers’ power to stay on more than 99 percent of the time,” said Jack Bridges, PSE&G vice president-electric operations. “Our infrastructure investments and momentum to modernize have helped us remain one of the nation’s most reliable utility companies, bringing significant benefits to PSE&G customers.”

“Each year, we strengthen our distribution system so that fewer customers experience outages and, when they do occur, the duration is shorter,” Bridges said. “One major effort this year involved adding more smart devices across the state to bolster safety, resiliency and reliability.”

PSE&G is also implementing, through December 2023, a number of significant reliability improvements under its $842 million Energy Strong II program. These programs include:

  • Raising and hardening equipment in 16 stations located in flood zones 
  • Upgrading to smart grid technologies to reduce the number of people impacted by an outage (rerouting electricity quickly around problems), enable swifter deployment of repair teams and reduce outage durations
  • Storm hardening of certain circuits to reduce power outages by adding measures such as upgraded poles and cables that are more resistant to tree and limb damage
  • Creating an advanced distribution management system to make the system smarter, improve outage response and upgrade and secure vital communications networks.

For 2020, PSE&G partially energized in May the second phase of the $739 million Metuchen-Trenton-Burlington upgrade, completing work from the Plainsboro Substation to the Trenton Switching Station. Completion of this work meets the commitment to PJM to upgrade the transmission circuits between Brunswick Station and Trenton Station before the summer of 2020.

The full project, which includes strengthening the electric transmission system between the Metuchen Switching Station and the Burlington Switching Station also will modify, upgrade or reconfigure 17 electric stations along the approximate 55-mile route, with completion expected by 2022.

In addition, PSE&G energized the first segment of the $90 million Aldene-Warinanco-Linden project, completing work from the Aldene Station to the Warinanco Station, representing approximately 3 miles of upgraded 230kV overhead transmission lines and associated towers and monopoles. The full project, which comprises 6 miles of upgraded 230kV overhead transmission circuits from the Aldene Station to the Linden VFT Station, is scheduled for completion by December.

We also continue to expand our growing 69kV network statewide, have completed a number of substation hardening and transformer replacement projects to maintain reliability, and have completed circuit upgrades to improve the reliability of 205 circuits that serve over 320,000 customers across the state.

In addition to the investments in our electric system, our Gas System Modernization Program work will continue throughout the summer in neighborhoods across New Jersey, with details available for customers on the website. This second phase, known as GSMP II, started in January 2019 and will upgrade up to 875 miles of aging pipes to durable plastic and make other gas infrastructure improvements through 2023.

Prepared for Additional Power Demand

The 2020 forecasted summer peak is 9,792 megawatts. Last year’s peak was 9,753 megawatts, set on July 17, 2019. 

PSE&G expects to have no problem delivering additional power, and utility crews are at the ready to respond to service interruptions should they occur. The utility’s rigorous preparedness program for summer includes: conducting annual hurricane and tropical storm drills; employee training; developing emergency summer operating plans and performing summer peak reliability analysis; helicopter and climbing inspections of transmission circuits; infrared inspections; audits and inventories; equipment repairs and replacements; system reinforcements, and transmission line work. We continually refine our emergency preparedness program to ensure we maintain the highest possibility level of reliability for our customers.

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Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving 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 Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 12 consecutive years.