Public Service Electric and Gas Co. will seek approval from the New Jersey Board of Utilities for the North Central Reliability Project, which would upgrade transmission lines and substations from existing 138kV power to 230kV power in the northern and central regions of the state. The upgrade is required by the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., the independent regional planning organization. The project will maintain reliability for New Jersey businesses and residents, provide better power quality, and reduce transmission system congestion in the region.

"The North Central Reliability Project is essential to meet the region's demand for electricity over the long term and ensure that customers continue to have the reliable electric service they have come to expect," said Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G.

The North Central Reliability Project would upgrade existing PSE&G transmission lines and stations along its right-of-way from the Roseland Switching Station in Essex County to the West Orange Switching Station in Essex County and to the Sewaren Switching Station in Middlesex County. The existing 138kV transmission lines would be replaced with 230kV transmission lines across 35 miles through West Orange, Livingston, Roseland, Florham Park, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Watchung, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Clark, Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge.

PSE&G will file for project approval with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) in May of 2011. With BPU approval, work could begin in early 2012, with an in-service date of June 2014.

The cost of the project is currently estimated at between $300 million -$350 million, and will create approximately 700,000 man hours of employment in the state of New Jersey during the course of the project.