PSE&G plans $888 million on energy initiatives

NEW JERSEY - New Jersey's largest utility plans to spend $888 million on energy infrastructure and efficiency initiatives it says will create nearly 1,700 jobs.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company announced its plans in filings with the state Board of Public Utilities.

The utility — which has more than 2 million customers in New Jersey — wants to spend $698 million in accelerated investments in electric and gas distribution system capital projects. It also wants to spend an additional $190 million to encourage conservation and create green jobs.

"PSE&G's proposals are in direct response to Gov. Jon Corzine's call for utilities to invigorate the economy as part of his Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan announced in October 2008," said Ralph LaRossa, the utility's president and chief operating officer.

If the BPU approves the initiatives, LaRossa said PSE&G will make every attempt to use local suppliers and contractors for the programs, along with its own work force.

The infrastructure proposal calls for the utility to spend $406 million in electric system capital improvements, and $292 million in gas system investments during the next two years. Planned improvements include the replacement of aging underground cable facilities, network transformers and relays, and the upgrading of overhead wire, cable and transformers.

Gas infrastructure investments include replacing and reinforcing aging cast iron and steel mains and services, purchasing specialized construction equipment and upgrading meter and regulator stations.

An additional project would replace less efficient mercury vapor municipal street lighting with more efficient fluorescent lighting.

The efficiency initiative would greatly expand an existing program, approved by the BPU last year, to provide energy- and money-saving measures directly to families and businesses.


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