PSE&G energizes 500-kV power line, readies for summer demand

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With the energizing of a portion of the new Susquehanna-Roseland power line, PSE&G is better equipped than ever to handle customers' demand for safe, reliable electricity this summer.

The additional transmission line is one of several infrastructure upgrades the utility has been making to keep the lights on and New Jersey's residents cool when temperatures climb.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10 billion. Its operating unit are: PSEG Power, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) and PSEG Long Island.

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.

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.

The forecasted summer peak for this year is 10,614 MW. Last year's peak was 10,414 MW, set on July 19, and PSE&G's all-time summer peak was 11,108 MW, 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.

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