May 23, 2014 at 6:45 AM
EDISON, NJ – Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) announced today that it is ready to begin work to proactively protect and strengthen its electric and gas systems in Edison against severe weather conditions.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a $1.22 billion settlement in PSE&G’s Energy Strong proposal.
The impact of the $1 billion investment on the typical Edison residential combined electric/gas customer bill is expected to be approximately 2 percent in 2018 which will be more than offset by transitional charges stemming from deregulation that are expiring in the same timeframe.
“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.”
Edison Township is serviced by the nearby Sewaren Switching Station at 751 Cliff Road in Woodbridge.
“We will protect our Sewaren Switching Station in Woodbridge from future flooding and water intrusion. The station delivers power to substations that serve customers in Edison and the surrounding area,” said Kristine Lloyd, PSEG Communications Senior Generalist via email. “We expect to begin raising or fortifying substations later this year, once engineering plans are finalized. The work schedule will also depend on material availability and permits.”
PSE&G estimates that the work approved by the BPU will create more than 2,000 jobs, which will bolster the state’s economy. “We expect to hire more than 300 additional employees this year, about half of them in union positions,” said Izzo. “The infrastructure investments also are expected to put skilled contractors and laborers to work installing new gas mains, raising or relocating substation equipment and erecting water barriers.” The PSE&G jobs will include relay technicians, substation mechanics, engineers, environmental analysts and project managers.
By year end, the utility expects to replace about 88 miles of low-pressure, cast iron gas mains that sustained water damage in either Irene or Sandy.
“We are also reaching out to municipal officials in Middlesex County to discuss the timetable for gas main replacement work and inform residents about the construction activity,” said Kristine Lloyd, PSEG Communications Senior Generalist via email.
In addition to replacing the cast iron mains with ones made of plastic, PSE&G will upgrade older service lines with plastic piping that brings gas to individual homes and businesses. The utility will apply for road opening permits before work can begin in a particular municipality, and work with local officials to minimize traffic and other disruptions.
“While none of these improvements will be in place for this year’s hurricane season, we are pleased to put shovels in the ground and get started on this critical work so we are better prepared for the next storm season,” said Izzo.