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PSE&G 'Energy Strong' Gets Cooking on Hoboken Gas Grid

Thursday, July 10, 2014   (0 Comments)
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PSE&G 'Energy Strong' Gets Cooking on Hoboken Gas Grid (07/10/14)

Public Service Electric & Gas is rolling out its $1.2 billion Energy Strong program to upgrade its gas and electrical grid, with the goal of improving its resiliency in the wake of huge storms. A small project to upgrade flood-prone gas mains in Wayne began last month, but a much bigger project in Hoboken, which suffered severe flooding during Hurricane Sandy, is expected to begin around July 21, according to utility officials. In addition, the utility is also planning to improve gas mains in the Bergen County towns of Hillsdale, Westwood, and River Vale, as well as Little Falls in Passaic County and Springfield in Union County.

The upgrades are part of a state effort to direct electric and gas utilities to invest in programs that will reduce outages and the length of time customers are without service when big storms batter New Jersey. State officials say those events are likely to occur more frequently in the future. In Hoboken, the Newark-based utility is planning to upgrade 60 percent of the gas lines within the city, replacing old low-pressure cast iron mains in or near flood zones with new plastic pipe. The new pipes will be upgraded to a higher pressure to prevent water from entering mains, increasing the reliability of gas service. The Energy Strong program was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in late May, after a protracted fight among the utility, business groups, and local officials that often pitted consumer advocates against large energy users. The program was eventually pared down from the $2.6 billion PSE&G originally sought to be approved by the regulatory agency. The program is scheduled to go on for five years, but the utility initially proposed a much larger effort over a decade.

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