My family thinks I am obsessed with trees. Perhaps that’s because I moved them into a home that has a 48-acre arboretum directly behind it. Maybe it’s because they constantly hear me offering little details about bark, or leaves or the branch system. Did you know, for example, that each branch operates independently yet for the common good of the whole – using its leaves to feed itself and then sending reserves to the root system to be used by the rest of the tree? Yes, I love trees. Continue reading
Stop by the Sewaren 7 construction site in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, and you’ll experience the hustle and bustle of a staggering volume of activity – massive machinery moving dirt, cement being poured, sparks flying from welders’ guns. On any given day, you will find between 450 and 500 skilled workers building what will soon be the most efficient, clean, state-of-the-art gas generation plant in the Garden State.
The late Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” I agree with Yogi’s wise words. No one knows for certain what the future will bring. But at PSEG we always try to plan for the next generation’s energy needs – with a strong focus on constantly improving how we provide energy solutions for our customers and the larger society around us.
On any given day, it’s not unusual to see helicopters hovering overhead in the Hackensack Meadowlands – monitoring traffic conditions or ferrying passengers between New York and New Jersey.
But the helicopter that drivers along the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike saw early in October was anything but routine. PSE&G used a specialized, heavy-lift helicopter called a Skycrane to deconstruct 13 existing transmission towers and construct 12 new 115-foot towers in the North Arlington meadows as part of the Northeast Grid Reliability Project. Continue reading
High atop a PSE&G transmission tower in Somerset County, two bald eaglets are preparing to spread their wings and leave their nest for the first time. When they do, they will sport colored identification bands on their legs thanks to the state’s environmental experts and a number of helping hands from my colleagues at PSE&G. Continue reading
Energizing the Susquehanna-Roseland (S-R) transmission line on May 11 was a great moment for PSE&G, for PPL Electric Utilities, which built the portion of the line in Pennsylvania – and for the state of New Jersey. As someone who was with the S-R project since its inception, I couldn’t be more pleased that this important electrical highway is now complete.
PJM, the regional transmission operator that operates the electric grid in New Jersey and other nearby states, first mandated the S-R project in 2007 to address reliability issues that would begin affecting the grid in 2012. While PJM has been able to implement short-term fixes over the last three years, S-R was essential to ensure the long-term stability of the grid. The project consisted of constructing a new 500-kilovolt line to augment an existing 80-year old line operating at 230-kilovolt – from the Susquehanna station in Berwick, Pa., to PSE&G’s Roseland switching station. This required PPL and PSE&G to rebuild the towers to carry both lines. PSE&G built the 45-mile section of the line in New Jersey, while PPL built the 101-mile Pennsylvania portion.
S-R presented a number of complex engineering and construction challenges, none greater than the need to build the line across environmentally sensitive areas, including wetlands and a four-mile stretch through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. PSE&G took a number of steps to minimize our impact on these areas and their native plants and wildlife. For example, where we could we used helicopters for crew transport and tower installation, eliminating trucks, cranes and other project equipment from traveling along these environmentally sensitive areas. (When the line was first constructed in the 1920s, PSE&G crews hauled metal for the towers using mules and wooden trailers over the rough and rocky terrain.)
To address those concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Clean Power Plan last year. The rule, scheduled to be finalized this summer, sets a goal of achieving a 30% nationwide reduction from 2005 emissions by 2030. It would impose carbon emission limits on existing power plants. The power sector represents a great opportunity for combating climate change. It is second largest source of greenhouse gas, behind transportation. Continue reading