Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is ready to meet this summer's peak electric demand as customers benefit from lower electricity costs.
"Going into the summer, customers want to know two things: Will there be enough electricity to run my air conditioner and fans? And, how much is the power going to cost me? We're pleased to have good answers to both those questions," said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president and COO.
LaRossa said the summer outlook is positive, thanks to the significant investments the utility has made in new technology and equipment. "Grid operators have said that we will have enough power to meet the demand for electricity this summer," he said. "And I'm confident that we've built a delivery system strong enough and smart enough to reliably deliver that power. PSE&G will continue to make significant investments in transmission and distribution facilities to ensure the utility remains among the most reliable in the nation."
LaRossa added that, starting June 1, residential customers are now paying about 3.6 percent less annually for electricity as a result of the most recent Basic Generation Service auction conducted in February. For the summer, a typical PSE&G residential electric customer's monthly bill will be approximately $138.67 or $3.90 less per month, a reduction of 2.8 percent.
In addition to lower costs, PSE&G customers are benefiting from about $1.5 billion in electric and gas infrastructure upgrades the utility is making this year to its transmission and distribution facilities to maintain reliability.
The electric investments include equipment upgrades at six switching stations and substations that use state-of-the-art gas insulated switchgear (GIS) to maintain electric system reliability. Recent advances in GIS technology have made it possible to upgrade stations with additional equipment in locations where space is at a premium.
Housed inside buildings, GIS equipment requires less maintenance than previous technology and has a life cycle of up to 50 years. Currently, only 2 percent of new utility substations around the country have begun using GIS. During the past year, PSE&G has installed GIS technology in stations in Branchburg, Wayne, Bayonne, Bergenfield, Ridgefield and North Bergen.
Notable additional electric investments made this year to ensure that energy is delivered safely and reliably to customers include:
- $45.8 million to install new breakers and a new substation at Cedar Grove and a new 69,000 volt circuit that connects to another new station in Wayne. The breakers and circuit provide increased operational flexibility and reliability to the Wayne, Little Falls and Cedar Grove area.
- $13 million for transformers that provide additional load serving capacity for Newark Airport.
- A $23 million project to add redundancies to 26,000 volt networks in the downtown Newark area that will provide added reliability to the city and the area's many large business customers.
- $18 million for a transformer and breaker that provides increased operational flexibility and additional load serving capacity at a switching station in Evesham Township in Camden County.
- $75 million for reconductoring projects in Waldwick, Cherry Hill, Gloucester and Camden to replace aging underground circuits with high-rated conductors to provide greater capacity and reliability.
- A $19 million project to install a 69,000-volt circuit between the Maple Shade substation in Burlington County and the Lawnside substation in Camden County that increases reliability and supply capacity to both substations and provides an interconnection between the Camden and Gloucester switching stations.
- $84 million in GIS equipment and capacitor banks at the Branchburg switching station. The capacitor banks maintain system voltage to our network of switching stations and substations, stabilizing the flow of electricity for residential and commercial customers.
- $28 million for tree trimming to ensure adequate clearance and prevent tree contacts with energized power lines.