NEWARK, N.J., April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With the energizing of a portion of the new Susquehanna-Roseland (S-R) power line, PSE&G is better equipped than ever to handle customers' demand for safe, reliable electricity this summer. The additional line is one of several substantial infrastructure upgrades the utility has been making to keep the lights on and New Jersey's residents cool when temperatures climb.
The new 500-kV transmission line was energized from the new Hopatcong switching station to Roseland earlier this month, marking the completion of testing and commissioning of the overhead lines, Roseland transformers and new gas insulated switchgear (GIS) equipment.
"The energizing of this portion of the line marks an important milestone in a project that will benefit New Jersey's economic well-being and quality of life," said Kim Hanemann, vice president of delivery projects and construction for PSE&G. "It means that millions of people in the region will continue to enjoy safe and reliable electric service this summer and long into the future."
A joint project of PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania and PSE&G in New Jersey, the S-R line will run from Berwick, Pa., to Roseland, N.J, and is expected to be fully in service before the summer peak electricity demand period next year. PSE&G has spent more than $660 million on the project to date.
PSE&G customers are also benefiting from another $2.2 billion in electric and gas infrastructure upgrades the utility is making this year to its transmission and distribution facilities to maintain reliability. Equipment has been replaced, facilities have been upgraded and additional redundancies have been added system-wide for increased reliability.
Notable investments that will be in service for the first time this year, ensuring that energy is delivered safely and reliably to customers, include:
- $390 million for the North Central Reliability Project, which upgraded service from 138,000 volts to 230,000 volts in 10 substations serving Essex, Union and Middlesex counties to provide additional load capacity to customers.
- $399 million for the Burlington-Camden project, which upgraded service from 138,000 volts to 230,000 volts in four substations serving Burlington and Camden counties to provide additional load capacity to customers.
- $71 million to install 69,000-volt circuits connecting a switching station and three substations in Bergen County. The circuit provides increased local transmission supply capacity to the Bergenfield, Englewood and Teaneck areas.
- $50 million to replace nine aging transformers in order to maintain electric service reliability for customers in Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer and Burlington counties.
- $23 million for rewiring projects from Maywood to New Milford to replace underground circuits with high-rated conductors to maintain reliability and provide greater capacity.
- $35 million for tree trimming to ensure adequate clearance and prevent tree contacts along transmission and distribution lines.
"We have a proven track record of continually investing in our transmission and distribution facilities, and this year was no different. It's a big part of what makes us one of the most reliable utilities in the country, and the most reliable in the Mid-Atlantic region year after year," said John Latka, vice president of electric operations for PSE&G. "Customers can rest assured that when temperatures start to rise and they power up their air conditioners, we'll be ready."
The forecasted summer peak for this year is 10,614 megawatts. Last year's peak was 10,414 megawatts, set on July 19, and PSE&G's all-time summer peak was 11,108 megawatts, set on Aug. 2, 2006.
PSE&G expects to have no problem delivering the additional power, but utility crews will be ready to respond to service interruptions should they occur. The utility's rigorous preparedness program for summer includes conducting employee training, developing emergency summer operating plans, and performing summer peak reliability analysis, helicopter and climbing inspections of transmission circuits, infrared inspections, system reinforcements and transmission line work.
When temperatures do begin to climb, the utility offers the following tips to help customers reduce energy use and control costs:
- Install a programmable thermostat and raise the setting to the highest comfortable temperature. You can save 3 to 5 percent on your air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat.
- Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. If you have central air conditioning, close off vents to unused rooms. Keep filters clean.
- Even if you have air conditioning, use ceiling and other fans to provide additional cooling and better circulation.
- Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows. Eliminate air leaks around window air conditioners with foam insulation or weather-stripping.
- Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun's heat and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
- Turn off power sources. TVs, computers and other electronic devices draw power when they are in standby mode or turned off but still plugged in. Plug electronics into power strips and turn off the power switch when the items are not in use.
- Use timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
- Replace old appliances with new energy efficient Energy Star appliances.
- If possible, install whole-house fans that bring in cooler night-time air that can pre-cool a house and reduce energy use in the daytime if heat is kept out by closing windows and shades.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly 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 Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G)