Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) submitted its application to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to construct the Susquehanna-Roseland power line, which is required to prevent overloads and maintain the reliability of the power grid.
The company’s application, including written testimony from various experts, is available online at the project Web site, reliabilityproject.pseg.com. Printed copies of the filing are also being delivered to each of the 15 municipalities along the route of the line.
“The line is needed because demand for electricity in our area has risen substantially in recent years, and is expected to continue to grow over the long term despite the current economic slowdown and conservation efforts,” said Ralph LaRossa, president of PSE&G.
LaRossa said that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., the independent regional planning organization, has determined that 23 transmission circuits will be overloaded within its 15-year planning horizon if the Susquehanna-Roseland project is not constructed and placed into service. He added, “An existing power line dates to the 1920s and needs to be upgraded with an additional line. The new 500-kV power line will benefit all area residents and businesses, regardless of their local electric company, by helping to prevent overloads in the regional grid particularly during peak usage times such as hot summer days.”
PSE&G had investigated three possible construction routes and chose the one that had the least environmental impact, least impact on residential areas and least potential to alter wooded wetlands and forested lands. The chosen route ensures that the project will be constructed entirely within an existing 230-kV transmission right of way. Once begun, construction will take about two and a half years.
Prior to the filing, PSE&G held 14 public meetings and workshops with residents along the route to solicit their comments and suggestions. “As part of that community outreach, every resident along the line was offered the opportunity to see exactly how their property would be affected by the project,” LaRossa said. “We have attempted to be as responsive as possible to concerns expressed by the public. We look forward to continuing this important dialogue with residents and municipal officials as we proceed at the BPU.”
The BPU review process is expected to include public hearings. During that review period, PSE&G will conduct final design work to determine the location of each of the new structures and temporary access roads, and other construction details. In addition to the BPU review process, the project will undergo environmental review by all government agencies with jurisdiction.
PPL Electric Utilities, which is building the Pennsylvania portion of the line, filed an application for approval with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on January 6, 2009.
About the project
The Susquehanna-Roseland Project is a 500-kV transmission line that will be built between Pennsylvania and New Jersey to maintain electric system reliability for customers throughout the region. 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.
The line follows an existing power line for the entire 45-mi 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.
Under federal rules, the cost of the project will be shared by the 51 million people who live in the PJM territory. As a result, New Jersey electric customers will pay for about 14 percent of the cost while receiving the reliability benefits.