(By Balaseshan) Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE:PEG) said its PSE&G unit has received approval of its application to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to construct the North Central Reliability Project, which would upgrade transmission lines and substations in the northern and central regions of the state.
This project is among $3.5 billion in transmission upgrades PSE&G will make during the next several years to maintain system reliability. These investments are also expected to create the equivalent of about 6,500 jobs.
The cost of the project is currently estimated to be $390 million, and will create about 400 new craft jobs in the state during a two-year period. The upgrade is required by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., the independent regional planning organization, to help maintain reliability.
The North Central Reliability Project is essential to deliver the electric power required by New Jersey businesses and residents now and in the future. The demand for electricity in the region is expected to continue to grow over the long term, despite the current economic slowdown and conservation efforts.
The existing power system, some of which dates back to the 1920s, needs to be upgraded to keep pace with the demand for power created by technology, such as large-screen televisions, iPods, cellular phones and other electronic devices that are now commonplace.
The 138,000-volt (138kV) transmission lines will be replaced with 230,000-volt (230kV) transmission lines along the existing right-of-way through West Orange, Livingston, Roseland, Florham Park, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Watchung, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Clark, Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge.
The upgraded 230kV system will benefit all area residents and businesses, regardless of their local electric company. During heavy construction it will be necessary for safety to limit access to the right of way only to authorized personnel.
Construction is beginning this week along the right of way between the Roseland and West Orange switching stations in the towns of Roseland, West Orange and Livingston. PSE&G will continue to provide updates as construction progresses along the right of way.
PEG is trading down 0.65% at $32.12 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $27.97 and $35.48 for the past 52 weeks.