Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is ready to begin work to protect and strengthen its electric and gas systems against severe weather conditions, now that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a $1.22 billion settlement in the company's Energy Strong proposal.
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10 billion. Its operating units are: PSEG Power, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) and PSEG Long Island.
"Today's approval by the BPU means that we can begin to harden our systems against the kind of severe weather damage our infrastructure sustained in the past few storms," said Ralph Izzo, PSEG chairman and CEO. "Our employees and contractors are ready to begin replacing vulnerable gas pipes, upgrading 29 substations and adding intelligence to our system to speed restoration when there are outages. We intend to work with regulators and other parties to consider other measures in our original proposal at a later date.
On May 1, PSE&G reached agreement with the board staff, Division of Rate Counsel, AARP, labor unions and other participants in the Energy Strong filing, which has been pending since February 2013. The utility had sought approval to invest $2.6 billion during five years to harden its electric and gas systems in the wake of storms like Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.
With the BPU approval, PSE&G will make the following investments during the next few years:
· $620 million to protect, raise or relocate 29 switching and substations that were damaged by water in recent storms.
· $350 million to replace and modernize 250 miles of low-pressure cast iron gas mains in or near flood areas.
· $100 million to create redundancy in the system, reducing outages when damage occurs.
· $100 million to deploy smart grid technologies to better monitor system operations to increase our ability to more swiftly deploy repair teams.
· $50 million to protect five natural gas metering stations and a liquefied natural gas station affected by Sandy or located in flood zones.